Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Unstamped Nürnberger violin bow


Recommended Posts

5 hours ago, martin swan said:

I don't see Carl Albert here - look at the thumb projections of his frogs. Though yours does look slightly reshaped.

The slide on your bow doesn't look original because the angle doesn't fit the heel plate - or at least, you wouldn't see a kacky piece of workmanship like that on a Carl Albert. 

The proportions of your 3-piece button also don't look very like anything from Nurnberger, particularly Carl Albert.

But let's see what Mathias Wohlleber says, maybe he can pull a rabbit out of the hat for you!

If anything I get more of a Knopf-ish feeling from this bow, and I would be looking more at the makers who came through their shop ... though I'd be pretty surprised if you get a name for this one.

 

Many thanks Martin. Yes let's see what Mathias has to say....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 60
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

We had come around this points at nearly every of your bow threads before. The first thing to understand is that every of the known makers (or better to say shops) had uncountable coworkers, employees, trainees, suppliers and so on and on and that we don't know the names of most of them, nor that they ever signed their works. Furthermore most of the uncountable bows are the result of a division of labour, some made frog blanks, others stick blanks, others adjusted these to each other etc. etc.

So the urge to give everything a name is understandable (especially for a better saleability), but hopeless. and also leading to odd misattributions like the fruitless attempts to find anything similar in reference books. Many were through this before. I'm pretty sure that Mathias will tell you the same, maybe in more in more polite wording. It's somehow part of his daily work to give such lessons.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Blank face said:

We had come around this points at nearly every of your bow threads before. The first thing to understand is that every of the known makers (or better to say shops) had uncountable coworkers, employees, trainees, suppliers and so on and on and that we don't know the names of most of them, nor that they ever signed their works

Dear Blank face,

This is very true and the whole business to try and identify a bow is extremely enigmatic. However even the " known makers" were at one time or another employees and trainees...before they themselves became established. Look at the number of great french archetiers working for JTL or other houses. And the same goes to say for the German makers.It is not a label or stamp that identifies the hand that made it. Certain characteristics can be identified only through the expert knowledge of the working techniques of that particular maker. There was a situation once with a bow made by Tischer from Dresden. Stamped and a very nice bow. But it was not made by Tischer. The person looking at the bow knew that Tischer from Dresden had lost a hand, and that the bow in question was made by somebody with both hands. Albert Schuster lost an eye on the 1st world war and the way that the head is cut or specifically the chamfers on either side of the bow head is effected by this impairment.  This whole business I find incredibly interesting.

I think it is the intrinsic nature of the work that identifies the hand....which granted becomes confusing when more than one person is involved.

I personally simply like or dislike something based on my own personal taste. I like the look and the work of this particular bow. And apparently it plays really well so all the better.If I can put a name to it then that will be an added bonus. . It still holds enough intrinsic value for myself to have acquired it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A couple of years ago I posted a query about a very interesting Violin stick with no frog and with a Fetique stamp.

There was a lot of discussion, and some disagreement, but the general thought was that it was a genuine stick from the Fetique shop, But it was one of the lower level Examples. It was impossible to identify which of the hands in the shop might have actually made it, even though many of the hands in that shop became known makers. Martin said “there’s no point in looking further.” It’s a nice bow And now has a replacement frog, and I don’t know what happened to it, But I think Martin is correct, although we would all love to know the history of what we have at some point it becomes fruitless to continue to seek.

You have a lovely bow of nice material and workmanship,You can place it and date it to a probable location and era. That’s enough.

Put it in the case, and go onto the next one. That’s more fun anyway.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

55 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

A couple of years ago I posted a query about a very interesting Violin stick with no frog and with a Fetique stamp.

There was a lot of discussion, and some disagreement, but the general thought was that it was a genuine stick from the Fetique shop, But it was one of the lower level Examples. It was impossible to identify which of the hands in the shop might have actually made it, even though many of the hands in that shop became known makers. Martin said “there’s no point in looking further.” It’s a nice bow And now has a replacement frog, and I don’t know what happened to it, But I think Martin is correct, although we would all love to know the history of what we have at some point it becomes fruitless to continue to seek.

You have a lovely bow of nice material and workmanship,You can place it and date it to a probable location and era. That’s enough.

Put it in the case, and go onto the next one. That’s more fun anyway.

I totally agree Philip.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/4/2021 at 1:01 AM, Alexander James Stew said:

Many thanks Martin. Yes let's see what Mathias has to say....

Dear Martin,

Just wanted to share....I might be getting closer to solving this particular conundrum! The Nürnberger connection makes sense. Mathias Wohlleber got back to me...and perhaps " lightening does strike in the same place twice!"

Mathias mentioned that the head on the stick looks quite similar to FRITZ MEINEL.(who as you know worked in close association with Albert Nürnberger )And in fact if one consults the DEUTSCHE BOGENMACHER the Meinel example is very similar. Not the frog....but the stick and head.

Now the frog from my " MEINEL" with the Hans Karl Schmidt certificate is also very similar to the frog in the photos I posted here .

I have to say all this gives me quite a buzz!

I think when Covid settles down Mathias suggested I could show him the bow in person. Will do that as I have yet to visit Berlin.

Anyway just wanted to share. All the best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Alexander James Stew said:

Dear Martin,

Just wanted to share....I might be getting closer to solving this particular conundrum! The Nürnberger connection makes sense. Mathias Wohlleber got back to me...and perhaps " lightening does strike in the same place twice!"

Mathias mentioned that the head on the stick looks quite similar to FRITZ MEINEL.(who as you know worked in close association with Albert Nürnberger )And in fact if one consults the DEUTSCHE BOGENMACHER the Meinel example is very similar. Not the frog....but the stick and head.

Now the frog from my " MEINEL" with the Hans Karl Schmidt certificate is also very similar to the frog in the photos I posted here .

I have to say all this gives me quite a buzz!

I think when Covid settles down Mathias suggested I could show him the bow in person. Will do that as I have yet to visit Berlin.

Anyway just wanted to share. All the best.

The two frogs side by side...
https://photos.app.goo.gl/XPVhK1GPhhr65LxXA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Alexander James Stew

It can be hard to photograph bows well. On of the challenges is when a frog or head is on a flat surface, it is difficult to resolve the object from the shadows underneath it, which is a problem with these pictures.

One way to improve this is to suspend the bow above the surface with lighting adjusted so the shadow is offset from the back of the bow. For example, I will suspend the bow by placing it across two stacks of books of 10-15cm in height with the end I am trying to photograph suspended over a slight surface. Then I place the lighting at an angle so the shadow is offset. When I take the photograph, I make sure that the camera focused on the bow in the foreground.

You can also try a black or dark background beneath the suspended bow.

I am far far from a professional photographer, but this seems to work somewhat better for me than simply photographing it lying flush on a light surface.

Also, when trying to compare or identify a frog, pictures from all angles are essential: profile, rear, slider, and liner. Be sure that the picture captures the whole object within the picture borders so that one can judge the proportions, such as length of the ferrel compared to the length of the thumb projection.

I'd post some example pictures, but posting pictures here is still broken as of 7/5/2021.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

@Alexander James Stew

It can be hard to photograph bows well. On of the challenges is when a frog or head is on a flat surface, it is difficult to resolve the object from the shadows underneath it, which is a problem with these pictures.

One way to improve this is to suspend the bow above the surface with lighting adjusted so the shadow is offset from the back of the bow. For example, I will suspend the bow by placing it across two stacks of books of 10-15cm in height with the end I am trying to photograph suspended over a slight surface. Then I place the lighting at an angle so the shadow is offset. When I take the photograph, I make sure that the camera focused on the bow in the foreground.

You can also try a black or dark background beneath the suspended bow.

I am far far from a professional photographer, but this seems to work somewhat better for me than simply photographing it lying flush on a light surface.

Also, when trying to compare or identify a frog, pictures from all angles are essential: profile, rear, slider, and liner. Be sure that the picture captures the whole object within the picture borders so that one can judge the proportions, such as length of the ferrel compared to the length of the thumb projection.

I'd post some example pictures, but posting pictures here is still broken as of 7/5/2021.

Many thanks for the tip George.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/3/2021 at 4:52 PM, PhilipKT said:

Alexander seems to do the same thing I do, and many people have asked me why over the years, so I think I can comfortably answer for both of us.

We enjoy kicking tires, we enjoy the thrill of discovery and learning about some thing worthwhile. I had never heard of Ludwig Closner, but one of my favorite bows came from his school( probably sourced anonymously from somewhere in Markneukirchen) 

Many of my colleagues don’t give a fig about instruments, And play whatever they think will get them the job. It’s amazing how little they know or care about their tools. They just play what they like.

I love the beauty of the instrument, the beauty of a well-made bow, Holding it, playing it, playing the same passage on 10 different bows. In the last couple of weeks I’ve gotten together with several of my colleagues to try out a couple of cellos for sale. we all brought our own cellos and bows and were trading bows back-and-forth, while playing cello quartets. The difference in sound on one cello between a particular well-worn Louis Bazin and a lovely Morgan Anderson was shocking. The clarity difference between a Gillet and a Fuchs and a Finkel was equally amazing. Such fun we had!

Of course I can’t afford to keep all this stuff, but I have lots of students and I just pass them on to my students at cost, or Sometimes I sell to colleagues or consign at a shop. I’m happy to break even though I’ve been burned often enough that I never will. 

But we look because it’s fun to look and to learn and to share.

The bows in my ready rack Frequently change, but my students play them all, and they learn from them all. Some of them will quit and forget but others will appreciate and remember, and that’s why we do it, I think.

I rarely post but all my posts are direct.

I don't begrudge anyone from making an honest living (or learning about old bows and makers), but I have to wonder precisely what's the value-add (or value proposition) you and Alex S. bring to your clients.

Full disclosure, I'm a violinist.  You stated in one of your earlier posts that you pass along your finds "at cost" to your cello-playing clients.  But (paraphrasing here) that you charge the violinists a bit more than "cost."  Are you a competent violin player as well?  Why do you single out violinists for such "special" treatment?

I'd also like to examine what "at cost" means, especially when some apparently go out of their way to "venue shop" to fit their own pre-conceived notions (ahem prayers).  Finding someone to christen a bow for €400 surely must add to the "cost."   It perversely distorts the market in the wrong direction instead of "...good solid bows that do not go through the roof price-wise" as Alex S. asserts earlier in this thread.

I agree with what Jacob stated earlier.  Nancy should run away as quickly as possible from Alex and stick to buying anonymous German bows for the best value, should she be in the market for one.

Perhaps this was what GeorgeH meant to ask.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Hempel said:

I rarely post but all my posts are direct.

I don't begrudge anyone from making an honest living (or learning about old bows and makers), but I have to wonder precisely what's the value-add (or value proposition) you and Alex S. bring to your clients.

Full disclosure, I'm a violinist.  You stated in one of your earlier posts that you pass along your finds "at cost" to your cello-playing clients.  But (paraphrasing here) that you charge the violinists a bit more than "cost."  Are you a competent violin player as well?  Why do you single out violinists for such "special" treatment?

I'd also like to examine what "at cost" means, especially when some apparently go out of their way to "venue shop" to fit their own pre-conceived notions (ahem prayers).  Finding someone to christen a bow for €400 surely must add to the "cost."   It perversely distorts the market in the wrong direction instead of "...good solid bows that do not go through the roof price-wise" as Alex S. asserts earlier in this thread.

I agree with what Jacob stated earlier.  Nancy should run away as quickly as possible from Alex and stick to buying anonymous German bows for the best value, should she be in the market for one.

Perhaps this was what GeorgeH meant to ask.

I sell my instruments to my students at cost because it is unethical for me to make a profit off of them. They are trusting me to teach them and guide them and give them options, which I always do,and if I make a profit off the transaction that suggests that I am acting in my own self interest and not theirs.

if I get a violin bow I consign it at a shop and I make some profit on it. Or I offer it to a colleague. Nothing remotely wrong with that. Why would you even imply that there is? Been doing it for decades and never gouged anyone.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

If I get a violin bow I consign it at a shop and I make some profit on it. Or I offer it to a colleague. Nothing remotely wrong with that. Why would you even imply that there is? Been doing it for decades and never gouged anyone.

Selling through a shop adds someone knowledgeable to the situation, which can be useful to keep one's feet on the ground, and set a fair price for the buyer, when one is found. This seems a good way to do it, as even when on consignment, a shop has responsibilities to the buyer.
With your instruments & bows, it's clear that you have them fixed up, before finding a home for them, which is again good practice, and very fair.

 

The other way, which we have seen discussed in a few recent posts, is someone buying random unmarked stuff (possibly cheaply), and expecting a big name to be placed upon them every time.
Here it's easy to get carried away, and the sale price may be far from fair. Since they are being sold direct to colleagues, who may not have access to reliable 3rd party advice, the probability of being fleeced is increased substantially. Orchestra politics and trust always play a part with colleagues, so the naïve or trusting will just take the offered price and condition at face value, which I believe they shouldn't.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 minutes ago, Wood Butcher said:

Selling through a shop adds someone knowledgeable to the situation, which can be useful to keep one's feet on the ground, and set a fair price for the buyer, when one is found. This seems a good way to do it, as even when on consignment, a shop has responsibilities to the buyer.
With your instruments & bows, it's clear that you have them fixed up, before finding a home for them, which is again good practice, and very fair.

 

The other way, which we have seen discussed in a few recent posts, is someone buying random unmarked stuff (possibly cheaply), and expecting a big name to be placed upon them every time.
Here it's easy to get carried away, and the sale price may be far from fair. Since they are being sold direct to colleagues, who may not have access to reliable 3rd party advice, the probability of being fleeced is increased substantially. Orchestra politics and trust always play a part with colleagues, so the naïve or trusting will just take the offered price and condition at face value, which I believe they shouldn't.

 

When I offer a bow to a colleague, they play violin and I do not, and they can judge playability much better than I. I never force anything on anybody, just let them try stuff out if they are interested and if they’re not, that’s fine. I try to buy on cost, condition and workmanship, and as I’ve said many times, in this area a typical silver mounted Arcos Brazil bow goes for 8-900(the nickel ones are less) and if I obtain an old excellent condition generic German silver mounted bow for 4-500, fix it up for 1-200, and offer it for about the same as that Arcos Brazil, nobody is losing. Consignment prices are higher but not excessively so, and I rarely have a violin bow anyway.

Ive never been one to try to squeeze the last dollar out of something.

here’s a true story:

At Skinners in 1996, I bought a Tubbs violin bow. It wasn’t one of his best examples. Tubbs quality was a bit variable. But it played well and was very comfortable, just a bit weak. I bought it for about 1800, brought it home, had it polished and haired, and put it in the shop for 2800, which covered the Shop consignment fee,”plus a little something for my trouble.”

A local wheeler-dealer came into the shop and took the bow out “on trial.” Two months later it was still “out in trial.” And the man who had it refused to return it.

Finally I told him I wanted “the money or the bow,” or tomorrow I would start legal proceedings against him, using the free legal services offered by my brother who is a lawyer.

That same day he showed up at the violin shop and paid for the bow.

It turned out that the price I was asking for that Tubbs was so low that the Sheister had consigned it at ANOTHER shop for a much higher price and was hoping to pay me out of his profit!

I still see him around from time to time, but haven’t said a word to him because he’s a crook and we both know it.

But I never take advantage of anyone and even my profits are low. So I sleep well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/7/2021 at 3:39 AM, Hempel said:

someone to christen a bow for €400 surely must add to the "cost."   It perversely distorts the market in the wrong direction instead of "...good solid bows that do not go through the roof price-wise" as Alex S. asserts earlier in this thread.

I agree with what Jacob stated earlier.  Nancy should run away as quickly as possible from Alex and stick to buying anonymous German bows for the best value, should she be in the market for one.

Perhaps this was what GeorgeH meant to ask.

Dear Hempel,

I just read your post, and would like to defend myself. I also like transparency...I am a violinist myself Associate Leader of the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra....so I play a bit.... I was brought up learning to respect the great tradition in German bowmaking. My father Walter James Stewart was on  first name terms with some of the finest German bowmakers; Albert Nürnberger Hans Karl Schmidt Horst and Heinz Pfretzschner...just to mention a few. In fact he was responsible for being one of the first  englishman to bring fine German bows onto the English market in the late 1960's through at the time Alan Wilkes who was running Guiviers in London.

Karl Schmidt is not " SOMEONE...TO CHRISTEN  A BOW for €400 ...he is one of the most respected authorities on German bows. He will only " christen" a bow if he is sure....The fact that Hempel and Mr Jacob Saunders choose to denigrate Mr Hans Karl Schmidt is in itself a big mystery to me.

Yes there are a lot of anonymous german bows out there( not difficult considering bows only started to be stamped late in the 19th century) but there are also a lot of unamed german bows that Hans Karl Schmidt can identify like the FRITZ MEINEL bow I posted on Maestronet which Jacob chose to believe I purchased on E bay!!!!

Hempel...I can appreciate the qualities of a good playing bow...and when I say I am giving colleagues the opportunity to buy decent bows at fair prices I mean the following... We have instrument dealers here in Portugal who buy Brazilian bows and put anything from 200% markup on the price. Criminal!!!!!!! I myself 5 years ago was a victim of this particular situation. I paid €2000 for a silver mounted brazilian bow which I later found out that one particular dealer here in Portugal had bought for €600. All I am doing is trying to readdress the balance... 

I am able to sell contemporary named silver-mounted german bows with generations of tradition in bowmaking  between 1000-2000 euros... as well as some good unamed german bows. Nothing scandalous or unfair about that....So perhaps that is why Nancy  or anyone else is not running away from me....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Alexander James Stew said:

My father Walter James Stewart was on  first name terms with some of the finest German bowmakers; Albert Nürnberger Hans Karl Schmidt Horst and Heinz Pfretzschner...just to mention a few. In fact he was responsible for being one of the first  englishman to bring fine German bows onto the English market in the late 1960's

Not the famous “Wally” Stewart who my dad used to buy contraband DDR bow and other stuff from in the ‘60’s, and who also wrote the English translation in the Hamma book?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any reputable violin shop is going to need to mark up the price from what they payed for it at least 100%, that's why there's wholesale and there's retail, there's no other way to stay in business, what some people dont seem to understand is the price of a bow involves what is paid for it, something for the rent, something for any advertising, something for any repairs or maintenance the bow needs, ,something to pay the taxes and last but not least something to put food in the belly of the poor sap that's trying to sell it, then you have to figure it may sit on the shelf for several years before any of those bills are paid, so no, by the sound of it your Portuguese dealers selling quality Brazilian bows are only crooks if they're buying bows for full retail then selling them for two or three times retail,

the crooks are the ones selling garden variety tradebows as being made by such and such famous maker for more than they are actually worth, it doesn't sound like this is what you are doing but its a trap one can easily fall into, its very easy to value something as being worth more than it actually is if you're not a real expert. IMHO there's nothing wrong with selling something for less than its worth, but if you start selling things for more than an expert would appraise them at, that's getting pretty crooked, not that there isn't a lot of that going on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, jacobsaunders said:

Not the famous “Wally” Stewart who my dad used to buy contraband DDR bow and other stuff from in the ‘60’s, and who also wrote the English translation in the Hamma book?

That's him Jacob. Your dad is Wilfred Saunders?My father always spoke in glowing terms of Wilfred. Great fiddle maker!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Strad O Various Jr. said:

Any reputable violin shop is going to need to mark up the price from what they payed for it at least 100%, that's why there's wholesale and there's retail, there's no other way to stay in business, what some people dont seem to understand is the price of a bow involves what is paid for it, something for the rent, something for any advertising, something for any repairs or maintenance the bow needs, ,something to pay the taxes and last but not least something to put food in the belly of the poor sap that's trying to sell it, then you have to figure it may sit on the shelf for several years before any of those bills are paid, so no, by the sound of it your Portuguese dealers selling quality Brazilian bows are not crooks, just businessmen, the crooks are the ones selling garden variety tradebows as being made by such and such famous maker for more than they are actually worth, not saying you're one of those, but its very easy to fall into the trap of valueing something as being worth more than it actually is if you're not a real expert.

Yes you have a point there. But this particular dealer more than over does it and has a tendency to denigrate those who manage to sell a product of similar quality for substantially less.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Alexander James Stew said:

Yes you have a point there. But this particular dealer more than over does it and has a tendency to denigrate those who manage to sell a product of similar quality for substantially less.

He may not be getting the Brazilian bows wholesale, if you pay full retail then try to sell for a profit, that's not quite fair

Link to comment
Share on other sites

48 minutes ago, Alexander James Stew said:

Yes you have a point there. But this particular dealer more than over does it and has a tendency to denigrate those who manage to sell a product of similar quality for substantially less.

Dealers who are registered for VAT, who have shops, staff, heavy rentals, and who pay business rates and corporation tax etc etc have a habit of getting annoyed with amateur or hobby dealers with other principal incomes who don't need to make a significant profit.

For most violin shops, selling new Brazilian bows or modern Chinese violins at big mark-ups is what keeps the lights on.

Alex, I think you need to understand all this - it's the reason why many of the comments on your threads are a bit passive aggressive. All the more so since your principal motivation for posting here is to find a name for a bow - this inevitably adds value. So basically you are asking people whose business you are undermining to help you to add value to your own stock.

I don't say this to be challenging - every orchestra has someone who is mad about bows and just happens to have a few in his case. It's a fact of life. But it can be very frustrating for dealers to lose what might be a very important sale to someone who doesn't need to charge a profit and who's just selling for the thrill of it ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...