This is an unusually fine Nicolas Maire stick with later mounts. It’s in near perfect condition, and the sound is pure and focused.
This bow started out life as a self-rehairing Vuillaume – Nicolas Maire was one of a number of makers who produced this style of bow in the Vuillaume shop. These bows fell out of favour within Vuillaume’s own lifetime, and this perhaps explains why so many remain in a perfect state of preservation. Some, like this one, have been modernised – you can see the circular plug that goes through the base of the head, and the original frog with its unique mechanism has been replaced with a conventional frog.
The end result is a beautifully preserved Maire stick with all the aesthetic and tonal quality one would hope for, but at an affordable price.
The stick is of round section orange-brown pernambuco of exceptional quality, with the dramatic grain in the head that we see in the best Peccatte school bows. The head is Maire’s most classic design, with a Peccatte-like hatchet forehead and pronounced curve to the back face – bold and beautiful. The later mounts are silver and ebony and are very much in keeping with the stick.
The condition is excellent, with no detectable wear.
This is a beautiful bow to use, and it has the special quality of many Maire sticks – the sound is limpid and transparent yet with a lot of power behind it.
Maire sticks tend to be quite supple, certainly compared to Peccatte, but they always have enough strength for modern styles of playing, and the slight give in the stick is what makes them sit in the strings, and is the secret of their special resonance.
It’s not easy to make a bow that puts out a lot of volume without distortion or tonal imbalance, but this bow does just that.
Unique, sophisticated, and highly recommended!