Fine French violin bow by Auguste Barbé, circa 1895

This French master violin bow by Auguste Barbé (1853-1902) is the work of a bow maker who deserves to be far better known and whose pieces were usually attributed to F. N. Voirin in the past. The excellent responsiveness and perfect balance of its comfortably light stick allows musicians to enjoy precise and virtuoso playing with a large, silky and unmistakably French sound.

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This French master violin bow by Auguste Barbé (1853-1902) is the work of a bow maker who deserves to be far better known and whose pieces were usually attributed to F. N. Voirin in the past. The excellent responsiveness and perfect balance of its comfortably light stick allows musicians to enjoy precise and virtuoso playing with a large, silky and unmistakably French sound.

Both during his lifetime and posthumously, the work of Mathias Théophile Auguste Barbé (1853–1902) was often confused with no less a luminary than François Nicolas Voirin. This state of affairs has its roots in two factors: Barbé had a profound knowledge of Voirin’s bow model, which was considered the defining standard in late 19th century French bow making, and he knew how to apply these insights masterly in his delicate artisanry; furthermore, the confusion was caused by the simple biographical fact that Barbé rarely worked under his own name. Trained in his hometown of Mirecourt, presumably by Charles Nicolas Bazin, Barbé moved to Paris in 1886, where he spent the next ten years employed as a master who crafted the majority of the string bows at the highly regarded workshop Gand & Bernardel. This particular unmarked violin bow was created in the mid-1890s around the time Barbé returned to Mirecourt, where he worked at his own workshop until his early death. The Auguste Barbé violin bow presented here – perfectly preserved and with an ebony frog with a mother-of-pearl eye and three-part slide as its original fittings – represents the most mature phase of this remarkable master’s oeuvre: the bow is pleasantly light and perfectly balanced with a central balance point that almost unperceivably inclines towards the upper half, giving musicians maximal agility, and the responsiveness of the stick of fine light-brown pernambuco facilitates even the most difficult virtuoso playing techniques. After having been carefully set up at our specialist workshop, the bow is now ready to play and has a certificate of authenticity by Jean-François Raffin, the internationally renowned expert in French bows.

€ 13,900.00
approx. $ 15,568.00
Inventory no.
B1010
Maker
Auguste Barbé
Provenance
Paris
Year
1895
Tone
warm, large, French, precise
Weight
52,9 cm
Auguste Barbé
Fine French violin bow by Auguste Barbé, circa 1895
Fine French violin bow by Auguste Barbé, circa 1895
Fine French violin bow by Auguste Barbé, circa 1895
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