This is a very fine example of the work of Marie Louis Piernot, one of the more under-rated of early 20th century makers. The bow is in excellent condition and draws a mighty sound.

Louis Piernot is one of a number of lesser known makers who are today being re-evaluated – Louis Morizot, CN Bazin and Marcel Lapierre also spring to mind. Piernot apprenticed with CN Bazin, then worked for JA Vigneron and Léon Bernardel before becoming independent in 1923. He produced many excellent bows, many of which were sold unbranded to various makers and businesses – this is perhaps the reason why his work isn’t better known.

This bow is branded for Emile Boulangeot, but we also find his bows branded for Pierre Hel, Chanot-Chardon and others. It’s a lovely example with some nice personal touches, in particular the shallow frog with its rounded heel and plain eye.

The stick is of round section orange brown pernambuco with a striking figure. Mounts are silver and ebony.

The condition of this bow is outstanding – the stick is unblemished with its original finish, the head is super-crisp, the brand is as sharp as the day the bow was made, the frog and metalwork equally pristine. There’s the tiniest amount of wear to the handle just above the brand, and a miniscule chip in the ebony on the back edge of the frog on the player’s side, but overall this is a very healthy bow that’s had little use.

This is a real powerhouse of a bow – the sound is big and slightly coloured, warm without sacrificing high frequency content. The stick is strong but with that oh so essential bit of give – it sits comfortably in the string with a satisfying amount of grip. It’s also a great bow for off the string work – light enough to fling around, very crisp and immediate.

Overall this is an unusually versatile bow with a full spectrum sound, ideal for warming up an overly focused violin or for anyone who needs a bow that “goes up to 11”.

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