Nicolas Maire is a highly respected Mirecourt maker closely associated with Pajeot, but who made the all-important journey to Paris. His style evolved significantly during his working life – this mid-period stick is in immaculate condition and has superb copy mounts by Derek Wilson.

A good Maire is a thing of rare beauty, and this is one of the nicest Maire sticks we’ve seen – dark (I mean really dark) red brown pernambuco of exceptional quality, and an elegant and perfectly proportioned “racing” head with all that forward-tilting energy lightened by broad, razor-sharp chamfers.

The stick is of round section pernambuco – it remains in outstanding condition with only the most minimal of marks here and there. The silver and ebony mounts are faithful copies by Derek Wilson, perfect in every detail from the slightly rusty screws in the underslide to the flecked green mother of pearl so typical of Pajeot/Maire.

When you see a lot of great 19th century bows it’s easy to become blasé, but this bow certainly woke me up. The sound is extraordinary – full-bodied and dense yet clear and projecting, somehow reaching into the instrument and pulling out something I hoped was there but hadn’t quite managed to find before. Some bows have this kind of magic and this is one of them – all the more magical for being easy and effortless to use. No need for months of adaptation – feel it in your hand, sit it on the strings and off you go. A beautifully balanced bow that can be taken in any musical direction… power, delicacy, beauty of tone, ugliness, it can do the lot.

Of course it would be nice if there were original mounts in the same condition, but a stick with copy mounts plays just the same and is significantly more affordable for a musician.

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