Here is another fine bow by Joseph Henry, perhaps our favourite maker. It’s a strong yet supple stick that produces a massive sound – some wear to the handle but otherwise in excellent condition.
It seems to be impossible to go wrong with an Henry. We have sold a few bows by this maker – all have been subtly different in playing qualities but all have been completely successful. And as a colleague observed, an Henry just looks like a bow should – no quirks or mannerisms, just perfect proportions and an understated grace.
This example dates from around 1850. The stick is of orange brown round section pernambuco of typically high quality with a subtle random figure. Mounts are silver and ebony, the ebony being quite open grained.
The condition is generally very good – there’s some wear to the top of handle which has been filled, and there’s a tiny bit of wear to the thumb projection. The ebony of the frog is also a bit worn along the join with the underslide.
For me this bow has all the qualities you would expect from this maker, or indeed from Peccatte or Simon.
A strong but sensitive stick which gives great feedback, articulates beautifully, and which produces a big and balanced sound. Lots of density to the tone here, but also the high frequency clarity that’s so important for projection.
Quite a powerful stick for Henry – generally his bows are a bit more supple – yet it’s still very forgiving and smooth. At 60 grams it’s smack bang in the middle of the acceptable range, and in fact it’s just very correct in all respects – it has neither too little nor too much of anything.
It’s only really in playing a bow like this that we become aware of just how unsuccessful most bows are, even ones by famous makers! This bow gets everything right, and it will open up musical possibilities for any player who picks it up.
All in all, a top bow for a serious professional, offered at an affordable price thanks to some unimportant wear.