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Richf

Replace leather lapping on violin bow?

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This looks potentially like a nice bow.  Once it gets hair, the weight should come out about 60 grams with the current leather lapping.  (No maker stamps, but I'm assuming Saxon circa 1900.)  Could this leather be original, in which case should I try to keep it?  I've never seen leather on a better bow before.  My inclination is to go with silk thread, to improve the looks and to keep the balance right.  Thanks for any suggestions.

Richard

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It depends on your intentions for the bow. If you’re keeping it as a collector’s item, original parts are worth keeping intact, as you might not intend to play it. If it’s an unstamped German bow, its value will most likely not be high enough for it to make sense to set it aside for a collection (unless it turns out to be unusually interesting).

If the leather is rotting away, as it appears in the picture, it is worth replacing with something else. If you’re going to play it, it is definitely worth having a new winding and thumb grip put on. The old leather will only fall apart more and make a mess. After all, these parts are not that important in determining a bow’s value, and anyone looking for a bow to play will want it to be in its best shape, functionally and aesthetically. 

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Especially one of the head & neck -- from exactly a 90 degree angle, please.

Definitely not the usual and interesting indeed. Quality work.

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51 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

 It looks mildly intriguing.

 

41 minutes ago, A432 said:

Definitely not the usual and interesting indeed. Quality work.

What can be seen in that one photo that makes its it interesting? I see black tarnish, so it’s silver mounted. But it looks like a normal bow. I don’t know the fine points of bow quality, so wanting to learn. Thanks.

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Here are a few additional pics.  I find bows especially difficult to photograph -- the nice flaming in the wood doesn't show here at all.  Not sure if it's anything more than a "normal" bow, but I'm a sucker for pretty wood.  Just now, I'm really only interested in what kind of wrapping to get.

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2 hours ago, jacklinks said:

 

What can be seen in that one photo that makes its it interesting? I see black tarnish, so it’s silver mounted. But it looks like a normal bow. I don’t know the fine points of bow quality, so wanting to learn. Thanks.

 I  want to avoid ridicule so I won’t say specifically what I did see, but overall, I can’t say I saw anything that struck me as being indicative of Exceptional quality, but Even an average factory bow from that era Can be nice. So I didn’t see anything particularly special, just that what I saw made me want to see more.

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5 hours ago, Richf said:

 I find bows especially difficult to photograph -- the nice flaming in the wood doesn't show here at all.  

I imagine a darker background would help.  Your camera sets exposure for a white scene, and underexposes the dark stick.  Quite common in bow photos here.

Focus is good though. :)

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I'd add (if you're still taking requests from the peanut gallery) that the head shot would be better at a 90-degree angle to the head. When you go by 90 degrees to the stick behind the head, you don't get a profile of it, but a view from behind it showing the back of it.

Which, in this case, was useful, although cleaning the caked rosin off the chamfers would have helped.

Face plate not skirted, chamfers & back of head filed smooth = German. Face plate of head, if it were clean, would show it was polished.

FWIW, as usual.

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7 hours ago, jacklinks said:

 

What can be seen in that one photo that makes its it interesting? I see black tarnish, so it’s silver mounted. But it looks like a normal bow. I don’t know the fine points of bow quality, so wanting to learn. Thanks.

My previous answer was incomplete. I wanted to add that anytime I see a bow that is silver mounted with what appears to be good quality Pernambuco, it is worth investigating. The additional pictures are still inadequate, but the frog has been cleaned up a bit, and the Ebony appears to be good quality,The button looks very German, so it’s probably a German factory stick of some kind, but those can be quite worthwhile.

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20 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

so it’s probably a German factory stick of some kind, but those can be quite worthwhile.

That’s what I hope to find eventually. One that may not be a “name” but good and solid that plays well. Finding a diamond in the rough at a decent price would be fun (but I guess that is the dream of most violinists). 

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9 minutes ago, jacklinks said:

That’s what I hope to find eventually. One that may not be a “name” but good and solid that plays well. Finding a diamond in the rough at a decent price would be fun (but I guess that is the dream of most violinists). 

There was a big scandal involving German bows that were turned into fake Sartory bows, resulting in a very angry Eugene Sartory, a lawsuit, and lots of fake Sartory bows that are really nice German bows. Find one of them, and it’s a cut above.

I have no idea how effectively faked they were, though.

Edited by PhilipKT
I spell well. I type less well.

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In Markneukirchen weren't factories but more hundreds of workshops, some small, some very big.

The OP is IMO a very fine worked example dating probably from ca. 1870-80, judged by the style of frog and adjuster, and it has most probably a thread lapping in the beginning, which was replaced at some point with this rather crude leather. I would replavce it either with thread (silk) or thin silver wire, could be end up somewhere between 60 and 62 gr.

The workmanship appears to be very neatly, so it could be worth to send photos to Klaus Grünke f.i. to ask if it is possible to identify the maker.

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I thought the fake-branded Sartoris came from Switzerland & were made by one of the workmen who had worked for him. Don't recall the name any more. There was a big lawsuit over it that got a lot of publicity.

FWIW

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