Victor Fétique set up his workshop in 1913, and ran a busy and successful business for the next 20 years. Although much of the work was carried out by apprentices or outworkers, his own bows such as this one are amongst the best bows of the early 20th century.
Over time, anyone in the violin trade gets to see a lot of Fétiques, and they are quite variable. The best examples are very artistic, with beautifully proportioned fittings, great pernambuco, and very sculptural heads which are unusually flat in the cheeks. This particular example has all of these features, is in great condition, entirely free from cracks or damages, and retains its original tinsel lapping.
There are so many French makers to choose from, most players find it hard to know where to start. A good Victor Fétique is a safe choice! Although his bows vary according to the quality of the wood, they are always well balanced, and don’t suffer from the extremes of stiffness of Sartory or the weight problems of Voirin!
In line with these observation, this bow is very much in the middle of things – not too heavy, not too light, not too hard, not too soft, not too springy, not too spongy. It’s a great all-rounder, slightly on the brighter/airier side tonally – it produces a big clean sound with a slight halo, and it has excellent dynamics. Great contact in light playing, but a big punchy sound when needed. I’d say this would be an ideal principal bow for an orchestral professional.
Dimensions: Length 74.6cm, weight 60 grams
Certificate: JF Raffin, Paris 2017
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