Another excellent bow by Marcel Lapierre, a rather under-rated mid-20th century maker – this example has particularly attractive wood, it’s in great condition, and it plays very well indeed.

Lapierre is one of these makers who has slightly fallen between the cracks, largely because he lived and worked in Mirecourt and produced so many unstamped bows that were sold to the trade. However, with some exceptions his bows are very well made, and they are consistently successful in terms of playability.

This is a very well preserved bow from Lapierre’s early days as an independent maker. The stick is of octagonal section orange-brown pernambuco with an attractive figure, mounts are silver and ebony. The condition is first-rate – there are no issues other than some loss of material to the pearl slide.

We currently have three Lapierre viola bows and they are all seriously good bows, although they all play quite differently. It would seem that Lapierre had a good sense of what to do with a particular piece of wood, rather than slavishly following some kind of formula.

This bow is powerful yet elastic – supremely easy to use off the string, but also solid and calm in legato. It puts out a lot of volume, and the overall tone is brilliant and projecting – a great bow for pyrotechnics, and well suited to a soloist on a budget.

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