Ref :   0615

A fine gold-mounted viola bow by
Ernst Willy ZÖPHEL
(1893 - 1973)
Rohrbach, Saxony. Circa 1940

Ernst Willy Zöphel (1893-1973) was born into a family with a long history in violin and bowmaking. He settled in Rohrbach, Saxony, where he lived and worked for the rest of his life. He focussed on making bows and earned a good reputation for his bows which are generally appreciated for fine choice of wood, and solidity in performance.

This bow was tried by two of South Africa's leading violists, who both expressed appreciation for the bow's solidity and good articulation.

The photos below don't do justice to the beauty of this stick - of dark brown pernambuco of very high grade. The stick is firm, yet responsive to subtleties, and very nicely balanced. The absence of a thumbpad makes contact and interaction with the bow very direct - much to the preference of some musicians.

Weight :
  67.1 g

The Stick :
  Octagonal, dark high grade pernambuco

The Nut :
  Plain ebony, rounded heel. No eye. Attractive mother-of-pearl slide.

Mountings :
  Gold and gold-plated.

Wrapping :
  Whalebone imitation. No thumbpad.

Tip Facing :
  Mammoth ivory, done recently.

Condition :
  The stick and frog are in excellent condition - no cracks or repairs. The bow was recently restored and the tip slide was replaced by Svend Christensen. I believe the frog and adjuster is original to the bow. I don't believe the gold-mounting is original, but probably gold-plated later by an appreciative musician, An attempt was made to gold-plate the heelplate, but some of the plating has rubbed off. I believe that the heelplate is original to the bow, but the two holding pins are absent. I should be relatively simple for a good bowmaker to replace them. The heelplate is glued in with tradition methods and is secure. Freshly rehaired with Siberian stallion.

Provenance :
  Present owner: Johan Grobbelaar. Acquired through Svend Christensen.

Price : Withheld
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