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tips/tricks for identifying bow maker?

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by toman, Dec 16, 2004.


  1. I'd like to find out the name on my bow, but it's really worn. You can see the stamp, but not enough to read it. Any tips or tricks to make it a little more visible? It's not a big deal really, I'm just curious because it's such a great bow, and a little bit unique.
     
  2. Contra|Brett|

    Contra|Brett|

    Oct 6, 2004
    This probobly doesn't help at all, but I am very bored so....

    when something is stamped it becomes more dense where the impression is, obviously. you can have that tested and it may reveal the impression. I think there might be something you can do with ultraviolet light to detect the impression.
     


  3. For starters.what makes it "a little bit unique"?
    French, German? Pictures?
     
  4. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Your best bet is to take the bow to a reputable violin shop or better yet a bow maker in your area. any bow maker worth his/her salt will have done research on the masters graduations and forms and will be able to tell you what you have.
     
  5. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    If the stamp's on the frog -- which I'm assuming is ebony or rosewood or beautiful dark hardwood of some kind -- you might be able to alter your view of the stamp (I'm fudging here cuz I have no idea what this "stamp" might be or look like) by wiping the frog with a bit of solvent. Doesn't really matter what kind of solvent, as long as it's clean. The solvent isn't going to hurt your frog any. In fact, it will evaporate and go away pretty quickly. Before it does, though, you'll get a view of that ebony like you haven't seen before.

    This is how woodworkers see how a piece of wood will look finished before it's actually finished.

    Any kind of liquid will work. Solvent's desirable because it will evaporate quickly and will leave no ill after-effects,
     
  6. Thanks for the help guys. The bow is a german style bow, a round pernambuco stick that is a good bit longer than most bows. The shape of the stick is also a bit odd; it tapers qiute a bit toward the tip. It has been very well loved; there is NO varnish on the stick around the frog, and the screw hole needs to be plugged and re-drilled as it's very worn. I had a new screw made to take up the slop, so it's alright for the time being. There is also a number scribed into the stick uner the frog, so apparently it belonged at one time to an opera or something... Last time I had it rehaired, I had my luthier look at it. He couldn't read the stamp under light and magnification, but he was busy and I didn't want to either hassle him or pay to have it further investigated. He and several other qualifed people have told me it is a pretty fine bow though. Since there is no varnish left on the stick around the stamp, is there any reason why the solvent trick would be harmful? It sounds like a good idea, especially since at the same time it would remove any dirt from the stamp and make it contast a little more.
     
  7. Damon, most burnstamps i've run across are on the stick, just above the frog or under the frog itself. Right or not?
     
  8. Most if not all I've seen are too. This one is on the left side of the stick, directly above the frog; normal, as far as I'm concerned.
     
  9. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    If the piece is already finished with a varnish of some sort, then the wet-it-with-something idea won't work. I was thinking frog. Shows how much I know about bows.
     
  10. Eric_J

    Eric_J Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Flower Mound, TX. USA
    If it has been stamped then there may be a slight indentation in the wood. You might try a piece of paper, the thiner the better, and a pencil. Lay the paper over the stamp, then lightly color with the side of the pencil lead on the paper. This may bring out the indentation and would be less risky than using a solvent.
     
  11. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    the only solvent i would use if naptha.
     
  12. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I guess just to be clear about it: the solvent idea was only with respect to bare, unfinished wood.

    In that case, any solvent will do the trick. Any liquid will do the trick, but water will raise the grain and oil will soak in. Solvents will evaporate harmlessly.
     
  13. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Like Don Zeleone said eariler.... Take it to a Bow professional..

    It doesn't necessarly mean the the Name stamped in the Bow IS the actual maker. Many are and many are not... Many are fakes too.. new and old.. Some famous (now) Bow Makers of the past had made Bows for other makers by Order. I learned in fact that Sartory did not make all of his own Bows but had another French maker make some of his standard (less custom) models to fill orders but were stamped Sartory !! Some Shop bows were made buy makers that also made their own brand and others nevre made any outside of the shop at all.

    There is a new Book on Bows from France with tons of pics.. Recently a Violin Bow selling for 70K ($70,000.oo U$D) had only 2 of 3 opinions of the Bow being 100% original of the maker in question. The Author of the book said the Frog was NOT the original, but still 2 of 3 was enough opinion to fetch such a sum..

    The Book was about $2,400.oo a few years ago.. More now I am sure, if you can get one! But unless you sell bows for a living, Pedigree Bows from 10-100k, Don't go to the expense.. It takes a trained Eye to make the ID... Who knows if all the pics and opinions in the book are actually 100% accurate? I am sure it is very close but I am sure there are a few questions here and there by other experts in the field........
     
  14. godoze

    godoze

    Oct 21, 2002
    Speaking of Bows, Ken, I still am digging your Eibert bow. It felt really good playing that last night.
     
  15. KSB - Ken Smith

    KSB - Ken Smith Banned Commercial User

    Mar 1, 2002
    Perkasie, PA USA
    Owner: Ken Smith Basses, Ltd.
    Yea Don.. I know what you mean. The only Bow I have tried in the last few years that I liked better was a 10K A.Lamy bow about 100 years old.. It was sweet..... I'm am always looking....