Sartory is really the gold standard when it comes to 20th century bow-making. His model is regarded as the endpoint in a long development from FX Tourte onwards, and his craftsmanship is second to none. His bows are always sublimely neat and beautifully proportioned.
This particular example has an octagonal stick of red-brown pernambuco, lightly figured. Mounts are silver and ebony with a typically perfect Parisian eye. The condition of the bow is very good, with no issues other than some minor scuffs to the stick.
I can’t pretend to have liked every Sartory I’ve played – many are so strong you could use them to lever limpets off rocks. But when Sartory produces lighter and more refined sticks, there’s a certain magic. In my experience his octagonal sticks are the better players, and this bow illustrates the point perfectly. It has the immediacy and the sense of contact that you would expect from a Sartory, but it’s airier and more nimble than most, bristling with energy and giving an open and crisp sound. It will take a lot of pressure, but it’s not an effortful bow – it’s very easy to throw around while maintaining control, and it produces a fat, reliable legato.
Most people who have been around bows a lot dream of a bow that would be a halfway house between the elegance of Voirin and the solidity of Sartory – well, this is it!
All in all this is a superior example from an outstanding maker – highly recommended.
Dimensions: length 74.3cm, weight 59.6 grams
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