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Fine French cello bow, Louis Gillet (certificate J.F. Raffin)
Fine French cello bow, Louis Gillet (certificate J.F. Raffin)
-head
-head
Inventory No.: A23
Provenance: Paris
Maker: Henry Louis Gillet
Length of back: 85.5 g
Year: approx. 1950

Fine French cello bow, Louis Gillet (certificate J.F. Raffin)

The masterpieces crafted by French bow maker Louis Henri Gillet are often compared to the works of his great contemporary and companion of many years, Eugène Sartory. Indeed, Sartory held Louis Gillet in high personal and professional regard, and during the last 12 years of his life he showed great faith in his colleague who lived in seclusion in Chalon-sur-Saône. Louis Gillet followed in Sartory’s footsteps for years after the latter’s death, and especially at the beginning of that phase Louis Gillet made wonderful bows, such as this fine cello bow, which is the ideal manifestation of all of the advantages of modern French bow making. Its active play features an extremely responsive liveliness, whereas the centrally-located balance point and perfect weight distribution give musicians a consistently confident feeling as they play, especially during technically challenging passages. The cello bow also provide visual evidence of its maker’s sense of style and artisanry in the delicately crafted head and the lovely silver-mounted ebony frog with a Parisian eye; Louis Gillet fitted the frog with a Hill slide as a means of preparing it for intensive use. One could be tempted to interpret the many traces of use on this comparatively young bow as marks left behind by the rigours of playing 20th-century classical music, but the truth is that they are not signs of neglectful treatment: instead, they reflect a rich and dynamic musical life spent in the hands of demanding and talented musicians. The excellent properties of the octagonal pernambuco stick have remained unaffected, making this master bow a compelling work with a fluid sound in the finest French tradition. A certificate of authenticity by famed expert J.F. Raffin is included in the price and further confirms the bow’s heritage: in light of the traces of use, a minor repair at the thumb grip and a capsule button that was replaced at a later date, we offer this bow at a uniquely affordable price and recommend it warmly.

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