Mistery Bow

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by pallino, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. pallino


    Feb 2, 2008
    The Netherlands
    Hello all.
    can anyone help me indentify this bow? Is a old german pernambuco bow I've purchased lately, is very well balanced and with a great sound.Altough is old and worn out,looks and feel like a high quality bow.No sign on it,apart from a mysterious rune-like sign " IV" on the stick,next to the frog (see picture).Thank you!




  2. The nearest I can come is that it is a German trade bow from a cottage industry town like Mittenwald ,made as piece work by a number of people. eg Hans made the stick and carved the octagonal for a No. 4 sized frog mass produced by someone else and haired by someone else again. Often bows like this were stamped with "Germany" underneath, between the frog and the screw and the III or IV were found underneath and covered by the lapping. My guess is it was made in the 1950's or early 1960's and originally had alternating black and white lapping. They cost about A$ 40 - 100 new when I was a student in the mid-sixties. The same source provided Brazilwood as well as Pernambuco sticks and and a range of frog mounts. The best were fully mounted silver frogs on very good nicely flamed Pernambuco sticks. Your bow looks like one of the best. The original lapping would cover the IV. The screw looks newer than I remember?


  3. pallino


    Feb 2, 2008
    The Netherlands
    Dear David,

    wow,many thanks for the very exhaustive reply! According to the luthier than sold me the bow, the lapping was probably silver but I have no clue if the screw is newer or not - it is very nice though.
    Anyways the best is that is very balanced and sounds great. I am actually in doubt if is wise to restore the silver lapping or not - do you think it may affect the balance?

    Thanks again

    Best Regards
  4. I'm a French bow-ist (!!!) Lapping make sense then, because the index finger is on the stick ahead of the frog. My perspiration and abrasion would wear down the stick unless protected.

    Your fingers on German bow - would they come forward past the end of the frog and need the lapping? If not, why worry if you are happy with weight and balance? Any lapping would be purely ornamenal. If you do decide to lap with silver wire it is such a light metal and so close to the frog that it shouldn't effect balance and weight too much.


  5. pallino


    Feb 2, 2008
    The Netherlands
    no need for lapping then...I belong to the party of "sound first - look last" ! ;)

    Many Thanks again

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