Modern Bows

The term "modern" is misleading at best. It is used to described any bow made after the basic designs of Francois Tourte, which were developed as early as 1780. However, please note that this now ubiquitous design does not necessarily imply a modern feel to the bow. Tourte and his contemporaries, and many who followed after, continued to make quite flexible and light bows, which are considered unsuitable by the typical 20th century high powered string player. It was indeed not until the mid 19th century that the ideal of a very stiff, powerful bow with a fast hot spiccato came into common use.

My aim is to specialize in the earlier, sweeter and more flexible bows made in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. These bows, after Tourte, Dodd, Lafleur, Eury and others, are superb for chamber music and all the compositions of the same period in which they were made, such as the music of Beethoven, Schubert, Mendelssohn and all the early romantic composers, even the slightly later music of Schumann and Brahms. Matched to an instrument with strong gut strings, the sound and expression are extraordinary and appropriate to the period.

I also love the bows of Peccatte, who continued to employ the Tourte designs, but often made stronger bows, more suited to todays artists. These models are also available. (See my gold-mounted viola bow.)

Current Models