The bows by members of the Knopf family are gradually getting the recognition they deserve. Good bows by Heinrich Knopf are amongst the finest bows ever made, and other members of the family produced tremendous bows which are still hugely undervalued compared to their French counterparts.
Here we have a stick by JohannWilhelm Knopf (1835-1912) with later mounts of the Knopf School. The stick is of round section red brown pernamuco with a dramatic figure throughout. The mounts are fine German mounts but not original to the stick.
The condition is excellent with very little wear to the stick or the frog – the ebony middle ring of the adjuster has a split, but this has no consequence for the value or playability of the bow.
German bows as a whole have suffered from a lot of prejudice, mainly on account of the vast quantity of super-cheap trade merchandise which came out of Germany around the turn of the century. But for a player on a budget, a good Knopf will knock the socks off a French stick at the same price point, and this bow is living proof. It’s just a great viola bow – very solid and smooth but also nimble and articulate off the string. The overall sound quality is kind of dark chocolate, but there’s a lot of bite and a very positive spring. Weight and balance seem ideal – firm and controlled but not sluggish. All in all, a very classy stick at a very nice price.
Dimensions: length 74.3cm, weight 70.4 grams
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