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Amati violin Bow


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Has anyone got pictures of a real Amati violin bow? I think I have one and am very interested to see if it really is. I can send pictures if neccesary.

As I recall from reading the Hill books, the violin shops in classical Cremona made not only instruments but also the accessories that went with the instrument, namely bows and cases. So, there probably is such a thing as an authentic Amati shop bow somewhere. But that bow, as a pre-Tourte bow, would look nothing like a modern bow. So, if you have a modern looking bow with "Amati" stamped on it, you can be sure, as suggested above, you're looking at something that didn't come from classical Cremona.

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Bows were generally not stamped in the baroque era, so if you had an Amati bow chances are you wouldn't know it. As has already been said, such a bow would look nothing like a modern bow.

It would also be an amazing treasure. Sadly, no one would be able to authenticate it because there isn't even enough evidence to form a basis for expertise on baroque era Cremonese bows.

Such a bow would probably look more like the bows modeled after early originals which you can see at sites such as:




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Heres the head. There was no frog with it.

This looks far too modern for the 17th Century.

Have a look at the paintings of Evaristo Baschenis and Bartolomeo Bettera, there are many bows on their still lifes. That's what a bow of the Amati workshop would have looked like, more like a gamba bow.


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"Authenticated" is perhaps asking for a shade too much certainty, but the museums mentioned on Hans Reiner's pages have the earliest museum-held bows I know of. The Kunsthistorisches museum in particular published a catalog of their bows which is an excellent detailed reference and includes some purported 16th century bows. There are also the late 16th century bows which are part of a display of angels at the Freiberg cathedral. I am not aware of any photos online.

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Bruce--very intriguing, although the bow has a different feel overall from the instrument? May we know more? B)

Hi Andres,

The intrument is a religious relic having belonged to Santa Caterina de'Vigri from Ferrara who died in Bologna in 1463. There is also a painting by Zuccari which illustrates her with the instrument.


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Lyndon--Early violin bows with bone or ivory caps at either or both ends of the stick can be seen in paintings. There are some surviving bows which seem to be of the "both end" type but with the caps missing (including 2 or so in the Kunsthistorisches collection).

Meanwhile, here's a picture of the remains of a fiddle and bow from the Mary Rose, sunk in 1545:


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