Ref :   0642

A violin bow stamped
J J v d Geest & Son
Probably German or Dutch, c. 1960

After completing his apprenticeship under Eugen Eberle in Rotterdam, the Dutch violinmaker, Jacobus Jan van de Geest (1899-1974), joined Hart & Son in London, in 1921 - then the most important violin firm in London. For 18 years he was that studio's master craftsman in charge of all work, until the company closed in 1938. In 1939 he moved to Johannesburg, South Africa, and there he became an important force in that country, not only as a craftsman producing violins, violas and cellos, but also as a superb restorer and expert, and as an importer of many fine violins.

Apart from his personal output as violinmaker, J. J. van de Geest imported 'trade' instruments from mainly Germany, Holland and Japan. These were items aimed at the student and amateur market. They were not made by J. J. van de Geest, but were the output of large trade studios. In this way he imported large quantities of bows from studios in Germany and elsewhere. These bows were stamped J. J. v d Geest & Son. They were mostly of very good quality - silver mounted frogs and good quality octagonal pernambuco sticks, but were not his personal work.

To get clarity on this matter, I spoke to Dale Walton, who for many years was Van de Geest's apprentice, assistant and workshop manager. Dale is now elderly, but he confirmed that Van de Geest rarely made bows himself and that the overwhelming majority of the bows sold from his business were imported from Germany and then stamped by Van de Geest. His personal bows were simply stamped 'J. J. van de Geest' or 'Jacobus J. van de Geest' and omitted the '& Son' part. So, it can be said with confidence that a bow stamped J. J. van de Geest & Son is not his personal work.

This is nevertheless is a good bow with excellent properties.

Weight :
  60 g

The Stick :
  Round, of red pernambuco

The Nut :
  Plain ebony, without eye. The nut is original to the bow and has recently been fully restored.

Mountings :
  Silver. The adjuster button is not the original and is of nickel-silver.

Wrapping :
  Silver lapping with black leather thumbpad - all later

Tip Slide :

Condition :
  Very good.

Provenance :
  This bow was in use by a professional violinist until his death.

Price : Withheld
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