Is £3500 a good sale value for my Sartory copy violin bow?

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Hi all,


I recently found out that one of my violin bows is very old, French, and rather valuable. It's labelled "E. SARTORY A PARIS" but I'm assured, by the people who are currently looking for buyers for me, that it's a decent quality copy, and not an authentic Sartory. It has also been fully restored prior to sale. The best offer they've had so far is £3500; they also said that if I were to try to sell it at auction I'd be likely to get half that at best. So I'm fairly happy with that, given that, in my few hours of research I found that most authentic Sartory's sell for something like £10,000-£15,000; so £3500 for a copy seems pretty fair. That said, I also convinced myself that mine's an original and so should be worth much more, though, as I'm sure is clear, I have no experience here ;-) 


Anyway, given my lack of experience, I felt it would be useful to gather some more opinions, should anyone want to offer them. Any advice would be very much appreciated! I'm also curious as to what might distinguish this bow as a copy from an original. Pictures below.


Cheers and thanks in advance,












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Thanks for the input! The bow is not currently in my possession, so I'm afraid these pics are the best I can do. I just snapped them before it was taken (to London) to be viewed by potential buyers. Only after I started doing a bit more research did I realise straight profiles would have been more useful ;-) 

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To me, the tip does not look like my Sartory (certificates from Moennig's, in the '90's and right before they went out of business). The stick color as compared to the wood before the winding, is very light, maybe a different wood, signifying a graft? No expert here, just chiming in. Agree with the better experts regarding price.

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The main part of the stick used to be rather darker, more like the colour around the frog, before the restoration - I was surprised at the change. The pad and winding were both replaced and the restorer didn't mention anything about a graft. 


So the opinions so far are:

- Probably not a genuine Sartory, due to the shape of the head, and the porousness of the wood.

- The price is rather high for a copy (which is fine by me!), though Ratcliffiddles thinks it's OK.

- For any degree of certainty, best get another opinion from a large dealer or auction-house.


It may simply be that I'm lucky enough to have found a buyer who particularly likes the bow, regardless of its authenticity, and doesn't care too much about the price. How often does that happen in real life? :-p

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I wouldn't say the head doesn't look like a Sartory, but the problem is the photos are not taken properly to form a considered opinion. It's like the photo in the Gand thread, I wouldn't rule out 100% that this is genuine from what I can see from these photos. I wouldn't say that I think it IS a Sartory, just that I don't see anything that would disqualify it from these photos.

I agree with Mr. Ratcliffe that the ebony used in the frog looks unusually wide/rough-grained compared to what one would expect to see on a Sartory, but the lighting could be exagerating the surface.

If the grip has just been replaced, the person who did the job should have a pretty clear idea whether this is genuine or not.

If it's not a Sartory, then what is it?

If it's a German copy 3500£ is a miraculous price.

If it's an unidentified Mirecourt copy, 3500£ is again a very good price for the seller.

If it's a good mid-20th century bow like a Richaume or a Gillet, 3500£ is too low.

The only way this could possibly be a fair price would be if this is being sold as something like a Morizot père, which this could well be, but again I couldn't tell from these photos.

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Interesting! The stick certainly used to be darker, though not as dark as at the base - it's hard to judge now as the post-restoration memory of it quickly displaced the pre-restoration one. Looking at my other bow (which is a rather less interesting modern-ish German one) it has a similar difference in colour between the base and the rest of the stick, so I'm fairly convinced that, as fiddlecollector says, this is perfectly natural.


All I've been told by the sellers is that the bow is 'old and French'. I've asked for clarification and if they could provide me with some decent photos of it as a keepsake, so hopefully more information soon ...

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So, kudos to Oringo, as I've just spoken again to the sellers, and they do indeed believe it to be a Louis Morizot! I'm sure they would have told me this in the beginning had I not made my ignorance so obvious ;-) they've also agreed to send me some better photos, which I'll post in due course.


They mentioned that Brompton's had auctioned a very similar bow recently, which I think may be this one (which looks similar to my eye anyway):


So it's not really a Sartory copy, but was made by Morizot during the period for which he worked under Sartory?

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