This is a fine Jules Fétique violin bow with outstanding playing qualities, dating from around 1925. It’s lovely looking bow in very good condition.
Of the various members of the Fétique family, Jules is the most highly regarded. In fact many would say that he is the greatest maker of the 20th century after Sartory. He was Sartory’s principal collaborator, and supplied Sartory with bows even while working for Caressa & Francais.
Apart from the later period of his working life, Jules Fétique followed the Sartory model very closely, and this is a typical example.
The octagonal stick is of excellent dark orange permanbuco with a subtle figure. The mounts are silver and ebony. The overall condition is excellent and the stick is free from blemish – the only issue to report is a small crack in the thumb projection of the frog.
What a great bow! Excellent sound, very responsive, and immediately comfortable.
The tone is articulate yet rounded and mature, and you don’t need massive pressure to get a big sound. The bow grips really well, and the front of the note has bite and definition -something of a feature of more supple sticks, and in this respect rather unlike your typical Sartory. However, supple is not the same as weak, and this bow has a lot of power in reserve. The weight and balance are spot-on and it feels light and easy in the hand, but it’s strong enough to really dig in if that’s your style.
Overall this is just a very musical bow which offers a rare combination of technical excellence and tonal warmth.