This is a classic Knopf bow made for the firm of Ludwig Bausch in Leipzig. Many great bows were produced by this shop, either by the Bausch family themselves or by various members of the Knopf family. Johann Wilhelm Knopf (1835-1912) made bows under his own stamp, and from a study of these we are able to establish that he was responsible for this bow. Some general features of the Knopf school are immediately apparent – the massive plain pearl eye and the distinctive rounded cut to the adjuster collar are the most noticeable. The head with its Simon-like bell shape is specific to Johann Wilhelm.
The stick is finely worked orange pernambuco of round section, mounts are silver and ebony. The condition of the bow is excellent.
I would like to report that the classical world is waking up to the qualities of fine German bows, and particularly the Knopfs. Even though many Kittels are considered to be the work of Heinrich Knopf, good bows are still “French”, and there seems little we can do to change that perception. For the few who are more willing to trust their own judgment, such bows represent remarkable value for money. This bow is a joy to use, nimble and nervy but easy to control, drawing a clear and full tone without needing loads of wood to do it. It’s a beautiful bow for chamber music, and an eminently collectable example of this family’s work.
Dimensions: Length 74.4cm, weight 59 grams
Certificate: Klaus Grünke, Bubenreuth 2016
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