Welcome to Historical Bows
Website for Stephen Marvin, bowmaker

A Bow for Mozart:

A detailed study of bow development during Mozart’s Lifetime.
Includes original bow photos and personal commentary. A revised
and corrected version of articles by Stephen Marvin for The Strad Magazine,
2006. This article will be updated regularly with historical bow photographs
and new information as it arises.

read article

Maker of bows for all string instruments, based on historical examples from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Bows for Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Violone, Viola D'amore, Viols (bass, tenor and treble).

(Click on an image for a larger view.) 2002-2006 © Historical Bows. All rights reserved.

For over 40 years I have studied surviving historical bow examples, sometimes called original or period bows.  I reproduce them with careful attention to the crafting techniques and materials employed. When making early model bows, I make close copies, but take account of the natural variation found in extant examples of a particular model or historical variation within the work of a known maker.

On these pages you can see near life-size photographs of Baroque Bows, including long and short "sonata bows" and special bows for viola d'amore, viol and bass (violone). See also Classical Bows, (sometimes called Transitional Bows) my reproductions of the work of Meauchand and the early work of Tourte and his contemporaries from France; members of the Dodd family and the Betts shop in England. I have also found exquisite early examples of Italian and German classical bows, previously unidentified. Currently I am making a few very special Modern bows, designed after the later work of Tourte, Lafleur and Eury, and finally some stronger Peccatte models.

Working with bows made before 1800 requires research and extensive study. I have visited many museums and private collections, and use well seasoned wood species found in the original examples. I have lectured on the history of bows and bowmaking, and my collection of woods used historically for bowmaking is on display at conventions and workshops.

You are encouraged to peruse the photographs and explore the links to baroque bow and instrument makers and related craftsmen. I appreciate comments, and questions are always welcome. See my contact page or e-mail me at:

Thank you for visiting Historical Bows