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gbh

Value of Lupot bow?

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gbh   

A friend of mine, an older woman who due to neck problems is transitioning from violin to cello and has played violin most of her life,

has a Lupot bow. It has been cracked and repaired twice. Does anyone have an idea of it's possible approximate value? She desperately needs a better cello bow and this is the most obvious potential cash cow.

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Assuming this is a bow by François Lupot II, auction prices havre ranged from about $2,600 to $8,600 recently. Fairfield (updated by Robert Ames) gives a 1999 retail price range of $22,000 to $26,000 (obviously for pristine examples), which puts it just slightly lower than the eight, or so, very most highly prized makers of all time.

I would imagine, that if this is really a world-class playing bow, with damage to the stick, the lowest auction price I've shown would probably interest a player.

Andy

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gbh   

Thanks Andrew for the info., I will let my friend know. She wants to upgrade her cello bow, she now has a Glassier (sp) fiberglass which is even an improvement over her warped wood one. I'd also appreciate any info on how to go about selling or trading the bow.

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If she is near a large city, she could try a luthier (fiddle shop) who might offer her about 1/2 the retail value (if honest) or take it on consignment for sale (at a premimum [contingent fee] ranging from 15% to 30% (I think).

Have her be wary of the evaluation some shops will give. It's best to get a couple of opinions. (I have heard stories of some scrupulously honest dealings by one SF bay area shop - if that would help - and at the ssame time I've heard of other shops trying to pull a fast one and severely undervalue an item that they might have a chance to buy. One really must beware.)

Perhaps, someone else can tell us a good shop to try - if we know what general area she lives in. If she lives in the Washington state area, as you do, there are some wonderful (world famous) bow makers up there, who could evaluate her bow - and perhaps even work something out. Among the outstanding ones I am familiar with are:

Morgan Anderson, Bainbridge Island

Paul Siefried, Port townsend

Charles Espy, Port Townsend

Anne E. Larson, Seattle

There is also the famous shop of Bischofberger in Seattle (still functioning, I understand after a really bad fire only a few months ago) and that of Rafael Carrabba Violins, Inc. In Vancouver itself, Alarik Faruolo is listed (of whom I've not heard).

The latest (Oct. 2000) Issue of STRINGS magazine (try Borders) has listings of many "strings" dealers and makers throughout the world. Definitely worth getting for a situation like this - also try their website.

http://www.stringsmagazine.com

Andy

P.S. The bow makers I have listed tend to make bows for the market of about $3,000 and above. I don't know if any of them also have a retail trade of other (more and less expensive) bows.

Personally I like composite bows (not necessarily the Glasser fiberglass your friend has) and I have "published" an evaluation of composite violin bows: http://members.aol.com/bowedstrings/violn-bow-review.html

I have also tested a number of the same brands of cello bows but have not published a review - but I would say that the rankings would be about the same as those for the same brands of violin bows. Several pros who post at the "Cello Chat" (whatever it's called exactly - "Internet Cello Society" I think) have recommended the Coda Conservatory model of cello bow, even over the more expensive Coda Classic. Coda bows has just lowered their list prices and the Coda Conservatory cello bows are now listed at $429 (while the Coda Classic is priced at $835). Depending on ones cello, and preference in weight, these bows do not suffer greatly in complarison with a number of pernambuco bows priced up to (and even above) $3,000.

For a very easy playing cello bow, very light and easy to handle, the Arcus Concerto bow is a composite priced at $1,400. I love them, some people find them too light. I will admit, that you do have to handle the top half of the bow differently than with a good tip-heavy bow, like a Berg Deluxe, but for most playing requirements, short of performing a concerto in front of a large orchestra, the Arcus does real well - and it is much less fatiguing to use than any bow I have ever tried.

For good information and fair dealing on composite bows, your friend might want to contact Ellen Gunst at http://www.cellos2go.com .

Ellen will prepare a "test drive package" of essentially whatever composite bows one wants to test. I have had bows (violin and cello) coming and going from her at least 4 times during the past few months

I understand that Stringworks also does such things.

SHAR is famous for their bow approval procedure - the only problem is that they offer so many choices it is hard to know what you are doing unless you have an awful lot of experience. Also, if one is looking exclusively at composite bows, SHAR has stayed away from the premium end of that market and do not offer the Coda, Spiccato, or Berg brands.

[This message has been edited by Andrew Victor (edited 09-20-2000).]

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gbh   

Thanks again for time and info.. I didn't mean to sound like I don't like composite bows in fact it was my idea that she should buy the current bow she has. I really appreciate the wealth of information you have given us.

ps How did you know we live in Washington?

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Omobono   

re: Lupot Bow.

What gives you the idea it is genuine?

I've seen a couple (violin & viola)

stampted "Lupot" that I'm told are

nothing more than German production

(that's not to say there's necessarily

rubbish)

The fact that the bow may appear old

or damaged surely doesn't prove much,

but good luck! What was the violin she

was playing? - that may indicate the

level of instrument she possesses.

Omo.

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gbh   

She was told by a local luthier that it is genuine, of course he could be wrong. Actually his words were (according to her) is that she could of retired on it if she hadn't cracked it. She plays on a Gibson violin and the same luthier told her it is valuble, while anouther said not. She enjoys her violin and it is in need of several repairs that she can't or won't afford. She just can't justify putting money into a instrument she may be physically unable to play in the future. Thanks again for the help she is thrilled that you are taking the time to help up out!

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I think your friend's luthier is something of a leg-puller. No one can "retire" on the value of any bow, unless they are terminal.

A Gibson violin, sold at retail might bring a few thousand dollars, although I've heard they are not bad. Gibson, of course is known more for guitars (and it's not an Italian name).

Andy

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gbh   

Her violin does sound good. I like your reply about the retirement likelihood. It would be nice if she could succeed in getting enough money to at least get a cello bow upgrade. I'll help her look into the options you gave earlier.

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The bow search can be never-ending. On cellos, not only the motion and ease of playing but the very quality of the sound itself is also very dependent on the bow and how it is used.

As with the violin, one should be able to do most playing with the weight of the bow.

The two "kinds of bows" that I mention in my composite violin bow review also applies to cello bows: (1) bows that try to simulate wood bows and (2) bows that don't (namely the Arcus). The first category is epitomized by Coda bows.

I found it helpful to go to a good dealer and try a Coda cello bow in the context of about 20 pernambuco bows ranging in price from just under $1,000 (about the same as the Coda Classic) up to a tortoise shell Hill at $8,500. I also tried a couple of different stiffnesses of Spiccato cello bows. I found the Coda to be a superior bow (to my taste) up to about the $3,000 range. Above that, there was a "horserace" and some of the other bows might have had a slight edge on one feature or another. But for me, I could not see a particular reason to select any of the other bows, especially not for prices ranging up ward of 2-1/2 times the price of the Coda.

If your friend does this same thing when (and if) she gets a test drive package of composite bows) she may end up with a better feeling about the bow she chooses - having tested it for herself against the best bows her money could have bought.

(P.S. This is not to say that any of those other bows were not better bows than the Coda, only I was not cellist enough to tell. Also none of them met another criterion I have for a superior cello bow (that I have found in only 3 of the cello bows I have ever tried [we'll leave that for another time]) . When your friend tests the Arcus bow, tell her to be patient and to play it with the hair "quite loose" and try to find the "touch" that works best for that bow - it is different than other bows, but once I learned to use one, I found my bowing was better with all bows - and on all instruments.

Andy

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Omobono   

with apologies to 'gbh'

(isn't Andrew fantastic, by the way!)

Andrew, It's been a while since I addressed you in this forum. Really taken with your expression above that the "weight of the bow should do most of the work in playing".

I think it expresses the sensation well - with a less than adequate bow you seem to be forcing or compensating all the time - a lot of unnecessary effort that could be better employed in music-making. The better the bow

(or rather the better suited to your instrument) the more effortless playing seems to be and of course hopefully the better the sound produced.

If one can say that one of the functions of the bow is as much to dampen unwanted 'interference" as to amplify desirable sound, I guess one should also be able to say the right bow for your instrument will complement/enhance the particular way the sound-box, bridge and string set-up all interact with each other in that complex equation that produces quality sound.

Sorry I made that so complicated!

Omobono.

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gbh   

Thanks again for all your input. I wanted to let you know of the followup. My husband took it to a trusted luthier, and was told it wasn't worth much because of the previous repair, oh well, guess I'll have to start a collection for her.

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Find out what it would be worth if perfect/good/OK and then try to sell it to a player for 20% to 25% of th - if it would be enough to get a decent cello bow. You might even try to auction it at E-bay, whith an honest description.

Andy

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Umm.. i'm actually looking for nice french bows but i was always intimidated by their high price. I am interested in trying it out... maybe u can e-mail me and set it up w/ your friend if you don't mind? my e-mail is violinistkim@hotmail.com Thank you

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