Etienne Pajeot just keeps going up in my estimation – his bows are very hard to beat tonally, and he was a real innovator. This is a great early example with wood to wood mounts in excellent condition, and the sound is magical.
By consistently using the best possible wood, Pajeot managed to make bows with slender powerful sticks which have lost none of their quality in nearly 2 centuries.
This is a relatively early one – before he started experimenting with metal underslides, and before the development of his characteristic semi-swan head. The stick is of very fine quality speckled mid-brown pernambuco – mounts are ebony with a silver ferrule and button.
The condition of the stick is extremely good with no damages or repairs. The frog is generally very well preserved, though there’s a score mark on the underside as shown in the photos.
Anyone who’s familiar with early bows will admit that they work very differently from a Sartory! If you’re not already there, the liveliness of the sticks can take a bit of getting used to, but the sound is something else …
I’m sure others can explain how a good Pajeot manages to do what it does – I suspect it’s largely the quality of the wood, old growth perfect pernambuco which is simply unobtainable these days, and graduations which simply wouldn’t work on less dense wood. Probably the most noticeable thing to a player is the amount of very high frequency content – not in the harsh regions but further up. This gives the bow a quality of luminous clarity, enhancing the projection of the sound without introducing anything that isn’t musical.
This is quite a light bow as presented, but with a silver wire lapping it would be pretty conventional. Wood to wood mounts are also inevitably lighter, so the stick is actually a very good weight and the bow doesn’t feel light, nor does it seem soft. Technically it’s a complete joy once you get the feel of it – broad and sonorous legato, crisp surgical attack, and an astounding staccato.
We do very well with Pajeots – soloists love them – but for me this one is a stand-out, with an unusual degree of refinement to the tone.
Dimensions: length 74.4cm, weight 55.8 grams (tinsel lapping)
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Interested in this Etienne Pajeot Violin Bow?
We often have several Pajeot bows – look here.