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Morizot Bow

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by Gatortail1, May 29, 2011.

  1. Gatortail1


    Feb 5, 2011
    I took an old bow to a shop to be identified and they said it was a Morizot. It's stamped France upside down on the stick. How much do these go for?

  2. bejoyous


    Oct 23, 2005
    London, Ontario
    If it's the real deal, it worth 1000's of $.
  3. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Did the shop do a signed, professional appraisal? Or, perhaps, were they saying something along the lines of, "Oh, perhaps it is a Morizot" etc...

    The few Morizot's I have seen were stamped, "L. Morizot." I am no expert, at all, but I do happen to own a Morizot bass bow, due solely to a former teacher's generosity.

    Perhaps anecdotally, I can report that mine does not say "France" anywhere on it. The maker's brand is the only marking.

    I would start be establishing that this is, in fact, a Morizot. Then, worth will be about condition, fittings, repairs, etc. It would also be about whether it was made by the father, or one of the sons. Then it would be about which brother, and to what level of quality. Finally, it would be about playability and weight; its' value to a modern player.

    Before anyone can comment meaningfully on value, unless this has already been done, I would think that the bow needs to be checked out by a well-regarded bow specialist. I would offer that a professional appraisal, from such a shop, may be only an estimation of value for your bow. But of course, the most important value would be the amount someone is willing to pay for it; even if it is a Morizot, if it doesn't play well, who will buy it?

    I would expect any bow shop to charge for their services. If you haven't yet done so, is this worth investing a little money, to get more information?

    Here's a little, easily-found web info:

    Morizot père et frères: The short history of a great family of bow makers

    Louis Morizot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  4. Gatortail1


    Feb 5, 2011
    Can you guys recommend someone to check it out? If I emailed you pictures would you maybe be able to tell?
  5. Gatortail1


    Feb 5, 2011
    Here are some pictures.

    Attached Files:

  6. Gatortail1


    Feb 5, 2011
    more pics.

    Oh yeah, the tip has been fixed and it has been rehaired since these pictures were taken.

    Attached Files:

  7. Gatortail1


    Feb 5, 2011
    last one. The bow weighs in at 108 grams.

    Attached Files:

  8. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Thanks, Gatortail.

    108 grams? That is unusual; lighter than most bass bows, heavier than most 'cello bows.

    I would send photos, for an initial discussion, then, if warranted, the bow itself, to Jerry Pasewicz. His company is in North Carolina, USA. They have a whole packaging and mailing protocol that they can help you with; your bow will arrive safe and sound.

    Here is a website with contact info and a bio sketch:


    Hope that this helps. Mr. Pasewicz recently restored my Morizot after I nearly destroyed it. His firm is comprised by great folks who know their stuff, provide thoughtful service, and perform amazingly good work...

    Here's a link to my thread, about the restoration:

  9. It is missing most of its hair in the pictures. If it was weighed without hair, it's probably closer to 130 grams with hair.
  10. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    Of course, that is good thinking, Paul!

    I am glad that at least one of us has a working brain...:)

    I do wonder, still; he said that the bow was recently rehaired...I suppose the question is when the bow was weighed.

    I will be interested to hear/read what information Gatortail unearths...
  11. Gatortail1


    Feb 5, 2011
    I'll take it to the grocery store to find out. :)
  12. Gatortail1


    Feb 5, 2011
    131 grams according to the digital produce scale at the grocery store. Nice guess!
  13. Solid. 131 grams is still on the light side, but well within what is standard. I think Morizots tend to be in the 125-135 range, so at least the weight checks out.

    The stamp with the maker's name may be rubbed off or illegible, but it might be possible to see it with a UV light (or maybe a black light). Take the bow into a totally dark room, turn on the UV lamp and rub a little water on the spot where the maker's stamp should be. The wood under the stamp is compressed, so you might be able to identify it that way.
  14. Gatortail1


    Feb 5, 2011
    I checked it for another mark, but I see nothing except for FRANCE.
  15. Gatortail1


    Feb 5, 2011
  16. I know, but a real Morizot would have had a maker's stamp on it originally. These stamps tend to come off after many decades of heavy use, but the wood under the stamp will still be compressed in the same form as the original letters. You can't see this compression in normal light, or under heavy dirt. If you clean the stick and try the method I've described, there is a chance you will find more information hidden in the stick itself.

    That said, it would be wise to take the bow to a professional. Good bowmakers and many of the better luthiers know their bow history and are aware of many distinguishing characteristics or signatures of the more famous makers. Even if the stamp is totally gone, an expert should be able to tell you if the bow is a Morizot based on its design and materials.
  17. Gatortail1


    Feb 5, 2011
    Thanks. I emailed Mr. Pasewicz. We'll see if he has any idea on it.

    If it is a real Morizot, what prices are we talking here?
    If it's not, what prices are we talking here?

    I need a nice microphone.
  18. If it can be authenticated, and you know which Morizot made it, I guess it could be between three and seven thousand. Given the evident wear on the stick and chips in the frog, it will likely be on the lower side of that scale.

    If it can only be called "Morizot school," I'd expect somewhere between two and four thousand.

    If it can only be called old and French, you might be able to push one thousand. Maybe a little more if it sounds and feels great.

    Even with a certificate, it can be difficult to sell a bow on your own. You will probably have better luck selling it on consignment at a reputable violin shop. Most shops will take a 20-25% commission on consignments.

    I am not a bow expert, although I spend a lot of time drooling over them. These numbers are for entertainment purposes only.
  19. LouisF

    LouisF Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Pretty wide range here: 129-152 grams

    Louis Morizot French Style Double Bass Bow - # 2370

    Louis Morizot Ivory Mounted French Style Double Bass Bow - # 2746

    Kolstein has one at 125 gr

    Kolstein Music, Inc.: Louis Morizot Bass Bow

    and one at 144

    Kolstein Music, Inc.: Louis Morizot Bass Bow

    One came up for auction in 1999 at 107 grams
    Lot 433: Double Bass Bow Stamped L. Morizot, the stick round, the ebony frog inlaid with pearl eyes and the ebony adjuster with two silver bands, 107gms\
    Auction House: Gardiner-Houlgate


    The reserve was $300-400and sold for $900; My hunch is that the ones above are in the $3K-$8K range

    The recent UK auctions on Morizot bows are interesting because of the spreads (especially in bass bows) from £100 (@ $150) to £1400 (@$2200). Whether it's a true Morizot or a 'shop' or a 'freres' makes a significant difference

    Bromptons - Results for: Morizot, Louis

  20. Eric Swanson

    Eric Swanson

    Oct 8, 2007
    Boston, MA
    My Morizot clocks out at between 126 and 128g, depending on hair, wrap, and fittings.

    I agree with Paul Cannon's and Louis F's ballparks, but it seems that these are fairly theoretical ranges, IMHO.

    Your bow's tip does not resemble the Morizot samples I have seen; the curves look different and the tip itself is shorter. Of course, it is hard to tell from the photo, and the tip could have been modified, too. The overall condition of the frog is pretty worn. The absence of the stamp is noteworthy.

    I remain interested in what Mr. Pasewicz has to offer. He certainly has all the knowledge a person would need to unravel this.

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