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Should I Re-Cut This Bow Head?

Brad Dorsey

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I recently acquired what appears to be a nicely made pernambuco viola bow (stick only) with a butt-ugly head.  The shape of the outer end lacks grace, and the chamfers are crudely cut with uneven widths and coarse file marks.  Re-cutting the head so that I can stand to look at it, and also replacing the face plate, would make an interesting little project.  The only thing that makes me hesitate is my nagging fear that this ugly head might be the signature of some maker whose work I should not defile.  The stick bears no stamps.

Should I re-cut this bow head?










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Can't speak to this bow, but a friend of mine was ordered by the owner to remove an non-existent 1600s Cremonese maker's (from a good family) label from an instrument and refused. Several years later that maker was rediscovered and that instrument was one of only three or four by him currently known. So be careful.

I say just replace the headplate.

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On 3/10/2023 at 9:27 AM, GeorgeH said:

It looks to me like the head was already vandalized by the person who replaced the tip plate.

Maybe, but I don't see any obvious signs that it is a replacement.  The crudity of the plate matches the "butt-ugliness" of the rest of the head, which suggests that it is original.

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2 hours ago, Blank face said:

The question is IMO what is motivating you, to sell it as something what it isn't?:ph34r:From an aesthetical pov, it's so crude that it even starts to look attractive in my eyes.

It very well might have been something that came from the Salustri shop;) 

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With a bit of fantasy one could imagine that the head shape is a bit similar to a Schramm or something like the older South German made bows, but this would mean that it should be older than 1850, what appears to be unlikely here. From what I know these heads can have a somehow crude shape like here, but the details of workmanship like the chamfers are more neat. Anyway, I can't see any possible improvement by overworking/reshaping it. Either one likes it as it is or should take a different bow.

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