This is a very fine example of the work of Nicolas Maline. A strong bow with a powerful soloist sound, and in excellent condition.

Nicolas Maline is one of the few Mirecourt makers whose work equals that of the Parisians – the only other example that comes to mind is Pajeot. Certainly Vuillaume recognized his talent, and he suppied a lot of bows to Vuillaume as an outworker.

This example dates from around, 1860 when Maline was at the height of his success – it bears the cross of the Legion of Honour in front of the brand (Maline had received this award for military valour in 1849), and it’s a fully realised and highly professional bow from a master craftsman.

The stick is of round section orange-brown pernambuco with a strong figure – mounts are silver and ebony. The head is a later model – something of a Pajeot thrust, quite a square forehead in the manner of Peccatte, and with broad and bold chamfers.

The condition of the bow is outstanding with no wear and very little marking to the stick.

I’m sure some of our regular visitors get a bit sceptical of the claims we make for our bows. Surely they can’t ALL be great? But that’s exactly why we choose them – we reject bows where the weight or the balance are irregular, and where the sticks are soft or insensitive.

Now we’ve got that out of the way, I can tell you that (yet again) this bow is an outstanding player with enough power for a soloist performing on a big stage. It puts out a lot of volume, and the tone is full, complex and edgy – the stick has phenomenal grip, and it will pull every last drop of sound out of the violin. The response is great – it’s an unusually agile bow for its weight, with a lively staccato and enough stiffness for bow pyrotechnics.

Definitely not one for the faint-hearted, it has a kind of savage beauty – if you’re looking for a massive sound with a strong personality, this bow won’t disappoint you.

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