here we have a fine Nicolas Maire in near perfect condition. It’s a real treat of a bow and it’s great to be able to see the features preserved with such crispness. The frog has a very pronounced thumb projection, beautifully preserved. The head has a proud Peccatte-style forehead and a very pronouced curve to the rear face, with broad and precise chamfers.
The round-section stick is of deep red-brown pernambuco with a slight figure, mounts are silver and ebony.
There is very little wear to this bow – the only issue to report is a tiny chip in the handle next to the adjuster.
There’s a particular quality which serious players look for in the great 19th century French bows, and that quality is sound! Better to hear it yourself than to try to describe it, but essentially this bow offers a combination of fullness and clarity which is very hard to come by.
The trend in modern bow-making is towards stiffness or resistance, but the Tourte concept as developed by the Peccatte school is quite different. This bow sits in the strings and just creates tone in a way that can’t be done with a stiffer stick. It’s plenty powerful enough for big repertoire, and you get a huge amount of volume with minimal effort. It has a very crisp upper register without hiss, and the overall quality is rounded, forceful, and very musical.
This is just a superb example of the maker – a great playing bow as well as an excellent investment.
Dimensions: lengh 74.4cm, weight 58.3 grams
Certificate: Pierre Gullaume, Maison Bernard, Brussels 2018
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