Louis Gillet Violin Bow for Lavest, circa 1935

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Louis Gillet Violin Bow
Louis Henri Gillet is best known as the maker of many late Sartory bows, but he was a formidable maker in his own right before this collaboration. This bow makes the point perfectly – very elegant work and an almost perfect playing bow.

Gillet started off his career working for Laberte and others in Mirecourt, and only struck out on his own in his thirties. Unlike other makers he lived a quiet rural life far from the madding crowd.

As an independent maker he produced a significant number of bows for Lavest, and this is one of these. The stick is of round section orange brown pernambuco, mounts are silver and ebony. The condition is excellent, with just a couple of dunts to the audience side of the stick.

This is a spectacularly good bow, and it’s no wonder that Sartory decided that Gillet was a worthy collaborator. It makes a remarkably fat sound for its weight, the stick is very strong yet also nimble, and staccato is a treat! It’s a bow which very quickly feels effortless, and it sails through all the usual challenges …

It would be doing this bow a dis-service to call it a poor man’s Sartory – to me it represents something of a high point in C20 French making. You could easily spend a lot more money and get a lot less bow!

Mounts: silver/ebony

Dimensions: length 74.4cm, weight 59.1 grams

Certificate: Pierre Guillaume, Maison Bernard, Brussels 2017 Louis Gillet Violin Bow  certificate

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Louis Gillet Violin Bow  base photo Louis Gillet Violin Bow  frog photo
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Ref: sr135

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