Buying Vintage Violin Viola Cello & Double Bass Bows On Ebay

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This article is to give guidance to my customers who may not be experienced in purchasing bows. 

Basically if you are not someone who has experience you are advised to get the opinion of a specialist who is used to dealing in the Western European Market before making any purchases.  Even luthiers and bowmakers from Eastern Europe and Russia  may not understand the conventions  used in Western Europe

Here are a  key points and conventions which are used in the bow trade.

 Many bows are branded. There are a number of common brands on bows which are intended to indicate the style of a bow not necessarily the maker.  For example a very common brand is Vuillaume A Paris.  If a bow has this brand it will usually just indicate it is made in  the style of this bowmaker not it is made by him. The convention in bow circles is to describe the bow as "Branded" eg  This bow is  "branded  Vuillaume A Paris" This means it was made in the style of.  If the bow is described as "by"  for example this bow is "by  Vuillaume" this would mean the great man made the bow himself.  Other common brands of this nature are Bausch, Tourte.

The situation also gets a bit more complicated because some bows are branded according to the workshop they came from. Many famous  makers had their apprentices make bows which were then branded with the masters name eg Bazin.

If you think you  will buy a bow branded Tourte on Ebay for £40 and it  will be one made by the great master  you are mistaken.  How do I know this. Tourte did not usually brand his bows! If you do not know what you are doing consult a specialist


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