Search:
corilon violins

Search

Instrument finder

What kind of sound are you
looking for?
You can select one or more search fields and combine them however you like.

Instruments
Provenance
Year
Tone

Archive

More detailed information about stringed instruments and the history of violin making.


corilon violins

F. X. Tourte and the modern violin bow (the violin bow, part III)

Geigenbauer


The modern violin bow and the new classics of bow making in the style of the great François Xavier Tourte


While bow making in the Classical and Baroque periods was defined by many fluid shifts, the modern age of bow making has a clearly identifiable founding father and classic figurehead: François Xavier Tourte (1747/48-1835), whose reputation as the “Stradivarius of bow making” is undisputed. It is thought that this bow maker's son was initially trained as a watchmaker before joining his older brother Léonard's workshop and learning the family trade.

F. X. Tourte's bow design took the accomplishments of Classical bow making and perfected them, always with an eye to the growing demands of the era's soloists. One of his earliest innovations still stands the test of time: he used premium pernambuco wood. This permitted him to apply complicated physics to the shape of the stick, and as a natural material the wood remains unequalled to this day. The logarithmic narrowing of the later-period Tourte bows is an exceptional and historical achievement in terms of mathematical complexity and the related challenges in mechanical accuracy. It was not until a generation had passed that the great Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume (1798-1875) managed to comprehend and describe the precision of Tourte bows.

The massive successes which FX Tourte enjoyed even during his lifetime were not solely due to the mathematical sophistication of his bows; they were also attributed to the ideal playing characteristics he made possible. The FX Tourte bow was perfectly balanced and had a quick and agile response because of its strong inward arch. This bow offered the largest spectrum of playing techniques ever encountered — from full cantabile playing to newer spiccato techniques such as saltando, ricochet and sautillé. Tourte perfected every aspect of the model, including the contours of the head and the mounting for the horsehair, which he widened and increased. Much like Cremonese violins, Tourte's style was only marginally modified by other craftsmen. The most significant heirs of his legacy include the “German Tourte,” Ludwig Christian August Bausch (1805-1871), François Nicolas Voirin (1833-1885) and, last but not least, the great Eugène Sartory (1871-1946).

The most recent development in modern bow making involves working with composite materials such as fibreglass and
carbon fibre, which have been manufactured since the 1960s and the 1990s, respectively. In the meantime they are also available as high-quality models. The use of these materials is partially a response to the shortage of good pernambuco; this in turn is due to an expansion of agricultural areas and major construction activity which have affected the most important sites in Brazil where the pernambuco tree Caesalpina echinata is grown.



New arrivals in our catalogue
  • French violin bow, atelier Charles Louis Bazin (certificate J.F. Raffin)
  • Italian violin made in 1985, by Salustri, Albano Laziale
  • Antique Klingenthal violin, approx. 1850
  • Raffaele Calace, Italian Neapolitanian violin, 1916 (certificate Eric Blot)
  • French violin bow, J.T.L., made for Pierre Hel (certificate J.F. Raffin)
  • Fine Markneukirchen master violin bow after J. B. Vuillaume
  • 18th century: Tyrolean master violin, unknown, approx. 1750
  • Excellent French violin bow, Morizot Frères (certificate J.F. Raffin)
  • Charles Nicolas Bazin, fine French violin bow (certificate J. F. Raffin)
  • Excellent German master violin bow, warm, fluid sound, 1940's
  • Luigi Galimberti, fine Italian violin, Milano 1925 (certificate Eric Blot)
  • 3/4 - recommendable, old Mittenwald 3/4 violin
  • Fine old viola bow, silver, probably England, c.1920
  • 3/4 - antique Hopf workshop 3/4 violin,19th century
  • 1950's German Markneukirchen violin bow, silver, with a blank frog
  • English Silver mounted violin bow: soft stick, mellow tone
  • Justin Maucotel: A powerful French violin, c.1840
  • Italian violin, Primo Contavalli, 1973 (certificate Benjamin Schröder)
  • Fine 18th century violin by Franz Knitl, Freising, 1789 (certificate Hieronymus Köstler)
  • 1/2 - old and well played Mittenwald violin, probably Neuner & Hornsteiner
  • Magnificent Italian roundback mandolin, Ermelinda Silvestri, circa 1900
  • 1/2 to 3/4 - rare antique large 1/2 sized, or small 3/4 sized Mittenwald violin
  • Silver mounted violin bow, Markneukirchen, Mathias Thomä
  • Antique Markneukirchen violin, Schuster & Co., after Jacobus Stainer