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Old bow info needed.

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by mtb777, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. mtb777

    mtb777 Supporting Member

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    A friend has an old bow that he described fairly well but I don't have any photos yet to share. This seems old so let me describe it for you. I saw it a while back and didn't think about it because I just started and it wasn't for sale so.

    This bow has a German grip frog. No eyes. Hair wraps around the back. No metal silver or abalone. The stick is round and arched like a baroque style bow, not scooped. There is only a single tension screw that runs through the top of the stick, not at the end like all modern bows. Looks like brazilwood or could be pernambuco but I can't tell yet. There is no grip or wrap on the stick. It lolls very stark looking really. No markings visible that I can see or that my friend has seen. Salt and pepper hair that's pretty old.

    Any ideas? I was baffled about the single screw through the top and have never seen one like that. I assume the screw sets the tension by loosening the screw and hook your fingers on the frog and counter tension with your thumb on the end of the stick and tighten it up with the screw. Am I way off? I've been trying to research this and really only found that it's baroque style so far.

    Any help or wisdom would be appreciated. Thanks. Kevin.

    Any help and wisdom would be
  2. mtb777

    mtb777 Supporting Member

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    I did a little research but could not find any pictures. I understand that very old baroque bows, you actually gripped the bow underhand and touched the hair with your fingers to tension the hair. This bow has a single steel slotted screw that is at the top on the stick perpendicular through the stick into the frog. I'm talking a tiny flush screw. It's about. 27" long and the tail of the stick is maybe an inch past the frog.

    Anyone have any wisdom?
  3. KUNGfuSHERIFF

    KUNGfuSHERIFF

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    I'm far from an expert, but it sounds like a "transitional" bow that preceded the modern German bow, possibly early- to mid-1800s (or a reproduction, they're out there).

    Is the stick convex, rather than concave? If it is, strangely, there's something very similar on eBay right now...
  4. mtb777

    mtb777 Supporting Member

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    I'll look and see.
  5. mtb777

    mtb777 Supporting Member

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    Yes. That is very close to the one I saw. Different hair but much the same. The screw through the top seemed the same or similar. So this maybe a mid 1800's bow. So, is that bow like read about where the hair is tensioned by your grip or does the frog have some sort of slide in it that that screw locked the hair tension in by pulling or stretching the frog and tightening down the set screw? This is a history lesson for me. I have both German and French gripped bows (the German being of better quality) and I'm leaning towards the French grip although a have an old thumb injury that gives me some discomfort sometimes so the German grip is easier on my thumb. Time will help me decide. I'm new to bowing and am trying to figure which way to go. A great friend of mine who was a pretty darned good jazz player showed me some French technique before he passed away from cancer. He did not really do much orchestral work but gigged all over the US and Europe playing jazz.
  6. mtb777

    mtb777 Supporting Member

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    Concave. Baroque style.
  7. dreamer69

    dreamer69

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    Something like this?

    [​IMG]
  8. OldBows

    OldBows

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    Does the screw go through the stick like this?

    [​IMG]

    It was standard in the second half of the 19th century.

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