Louis Morizot (Morizot Père) is one of my favourite makers, and here we have a beautiful and collectable bow of his in original condition – a spectacularly good player too.

The name of Morizot is associated with the huge and prolific workshop of the mid 20th century, but Louis Morizot (father of the various Morizot brothers) was a consummate craftsman who worked to the highest standards. His bows are always finely executed, and they always work.

This example has a beautiful stick of deep orange pernambuco, round section, with a pronounced and dramatic barred figure – mounts are silver and ebony.

The condition of this bow is generally outstanding, and we have chosen to keep the original lapping and ivory face, and not to clean up the silver too much. It’s rare to see a bow which is totally crisp on all the facets of the handle, and where all the pearl is original too.

The only issues to report are a tiny dot of filler in the upper rear edge of the frog on the player’s side, and the addition of a small piece of ivory to replace the missing nose of the face.

It’s reasonable to assume that a bow which hasn’t had much playing must be in some way inferior … but then the reverse would need to be true, and yet it’s clear to anyone that heavily played or damaged bows aren’t necessarily good bows!

I’m also inherently suspicious of very dramatically flamed pernambuco, though some really great Sartorys use this kind of wood.

Suffice to say that I didn’t expect this bow to be outstanding, but I was wrong. The stick is tremendous, firm without being too stiff, nervy but very biddable – and with such a powerful sound. Clean, cutting and impactful but always musical… the thing I like most about this bow is its surgical accuracy. It has such a crisp attack that it produces clean and well pronounced notes in any kind of off the string work.

I would say this would be an outstanding bow for Classical repertoire, but it can also handle a big Romantic schmalzfest. In fact, it’s just a really great bow, and also the purest example of Louis Morizot’s work that we have seen.

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We also welcome customers by appointment to our showroom in Wells, Somerset, and we make regular trips to meet clients in London, Brussels, Cologne, Munich and Vienna.

Martin Swan