Baroque Bows
Viola da Gamba (Viol)

I have recently developed a set of viol bows after the Simpson descriptions, including sonata and division bass bows, and bows for the tenor and treble viol. French model (Marais) sonata bows are also available.

There are many viol bows in circulation, but few that have an historical basis in design. Viol bows were generally long and strong, but not heavy or stiff. Snakewood is the preferred stick material. All were clip-in frog bows until very late in the 18th century, when viol playing was becoming almost a lost art. As with most clip-in model bows, I can make them with a light screw mechanism if desired, though I recommend the original design. Ornate wood or ivory buttons on the frog end of bows known from iconography were decorative and for balance; these did not turn or adjust tension. This can be observed in several paintings.

An excellent resource for 17th and 18th century iconograpy for the viol and violone (contrabass) can be found at Joelle Morton's website:

"Sonata or Division Viol"

Model the same, length about 70cm for division bow, 74-79 for sonata bow.