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Mathias Placht Bow Help


shunkpenn
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Hello All

 If you would be so kind to let me indulgie you with another bow that came with an old violin several weeks ago. The octagonal stick measures 29 1/2" and weighs just a little over 64g.   Because of the weight and feel, I believe this has to be a viola bow. Tough to say if the frog is original to the bow but it seems to fit pretty well.   As you can see the name on the bow is Mathias Placht.  The only information I could find with a similar name is an instrument maker that lived in the early 18th century and I cannot find another bow out there under a surname.  I also have provided a comparison photo of the head size as compared to my Pfretzschner.  Looking forward to your thoughts and any additional information.  Thanks. 

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Definitely heavy for a violin bow but on the light end for a viola bow. I agree with you, though: looks like a viola bow to me. The head size is larger than a typical violin bow, if your photo can be used for a comparison. I have not heard of this maker before.

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The Placht family in the late 19th and early 20th century was dealing with instruments (Gebrüder Placht Schönbach), not making anymore. You have a "straight forward" trade bow from the Vogtland cottage industry made of Abeille wood (Brazil), which was delivered to the wholesalers who put their own brand on it.

Actually it has a leather grip, which is nearly without any significant weight; with a wire lapping it might become 4-6 gr. more heavy, resulting in a perfect weight for a viola bow.

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32 minutes ago, Brad Dorsey said:

It's more that the excessive and uneven depth of the impression and the excessive charring make it look like a lot of other bogus-looking bow stamps I've seen.

Many of the later applied dealer brands look similar. IMO it doesn't matter in this case anyway.

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There is absolutly no reason to fake this stamp as it does not add $5 to the bow value. 

I have seen older bows with similar looking stamps (different lettering, just talking about the stamp itself). Look at old Albert Leicht bows for example. 

Blank face already said everything to know about this bow. Schönbach trade bow made of Abeille. Its definitly a viola bow, just the metal winding missing (check its center of mass). 

Nothing special, I am afraid. Might still be fun to play. 

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5 hours ago, Blank face said:

Many of the later applied dealer brands look similar. IMO it doesn't matter in this case anyway.

 I think there is little question that this was applied by whoever made the bow or who sold it taking into account the obscure name, the violin that it came with and the fact the violin wasn't played in at least 60 years.    The only thing I find odd is that why they picked the name of an obscure person from the early 18th century and there is not another bow out there that I could find on the internet.  I guess it's just the fact that they didn't use the name for many bows.  Thanks for all the help!

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44 minutes ago, shunkpenn said:

 The only thing I find odd is that why they picked the name of an obscure person from the early 18th century and there is not another bow out there that I could find on the internet. 

Just to make it a bit more transparent: The Placht family was widespread in the Schönbach region, the last in the usual records were "Gebrüder Placht, a firm dealing with Schönbach instruments since the 1870s with offices in Vienna, Budapest and New York" (Lüttgendorff). There's no reason why there shouldn't have been a descendant shop owner maybe in NY during the 1940/50s with this name, and the bow appears to be from this period, who put his name at this bow after importing it from oversea. Maybe he didn't sell many bows at least, but that the internet doesn't know him is no prove that a person didn't exist (in opposite to the actual popular opinionB)).

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2 hours ago, WorksAsIntended said:

…Schönbach trade bow made of Abeille…

"Abeille"?  Excuse my ignorance, but does "abeile", the French word for 'bee', have a specialized meaning in the world of luthery?

EDIT:  Perhaps a typo for abele?

Noun 1. abele - a poplar that is widely cultivated in the United Statesabele - a poplar that is widely cultivated in the United States; has white bark and leaves with whitish undersurfaces
poplar tree, poplar - any of numerous trees of north temperate regions having light soft wood and flowers borne in catkins
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10 hours ago, BasqueViolinist said:

"Abeille"?  Excuse my ignorance, but does "abeile", the French word for 'bee', have a specialized meaning in the world of luthery?

EDIT:  Perhaps a typo for abele?

Noun 1. abele - a poplar that is widely cultivated in the United Statesabele - a poplar that is widely cultivated in the United States; has white bark and leaves with whitish undersurfaces
poplar tree, poplar - any of numerous trees of north temperate regions having light soft wood and flowers borne in catkins

http://www.thewoodexplorer.com/onlinedbf/maindata/we761.html

More commenly known as beeswood maybe. 

I honestly lost it somewhere in the exotic woods, as there is so many wrong information everywhere. Hard to see trough which is true and which is not. 

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