Marcel Lapierre is a highly under-rated French maker, and his bows represent exceptional value for money. This is a well preserved example with great playing qualities.

Some aspects of bow pricing are very hard to explain. Lapierre trained with JTL, then worked for François Lotte, then began an association with EA Ouchard. His work is very similar in concept to that of Ouchard, but he chose to stay in Mirecourt rather than head for the bright lights of Paris and New York, and for this reason he never gained the same level of recognition.

This example has a round section stick of dark orange pernambuco of a slightly wild quality. Mounts are silver and ebony. The condition is excellent – nothing to report u=other than a slight wind shake about a third of the way up the stick on the audience side.

Generally Lapierre bows play rather like EA Ouchards, but this bow isn’t typical, being quite supple and nervy. The tone is airy and fresh, unusually refined for this maker. Not a power bow for some slugger who wants to bash out the Bruch at full volume, but an elegant and sprightly bow for classical or baroque repertoire. It has a very smooth legato with just the right amount of edge to the sound, staccato is elastic and precise. You need just the right amount of tension on the hair for this bow work its magic – this is one for those players who adhere to a more 19th century aesthetic and who have travelled beyond the brash appeal of super-stiff Sartorys.

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