Ref :   0660

A fine French violin bow by
Eugène Sartory
(1871 - 1946)
Paris, c. 1910 or earlier

This is a very old bow and probably dates from around 1910 or earlier. It is a testament of Sartory's earlier work and his evolution into one of the greatest bow makers.

The importance of Eugène Sartory in the world of bow making needs no introduction. His bows are universally admired by string players as being among the most desirable. He was born in Mirecourt, France, in 1871. After initially studying bow making with his father, he worked under Peccatte and Lamy in Paris until (at the age of 18) he opened his own workshop in 1889. He died in 1946.

This stick has all the signs of much use, in particular the wear pattern on the back of the shaft at the grip gives evidence of having been used extensively, which is a good sign of appreciation by several generations of musicians. This bow is stamped with the maker's stamp in the usual place. The stick is of attractive red pernambuco, cut round. The head is very elegant and slightly more "dainty" than later Sartory bows - further evidence of this bow dates from his earlier work, before he settled into the characteristic head shape we know today. The tip slide width is 10 mm.

The bow also bears Sartory's stamp under the lapping - further evidence of the bow's authenticity. A photo to that effect can be supplied on demand.

The nut seems to be the original, but has been subject to restoration to the upper throat where old nuts usually tend to develop small cracks. It appears that a graft was carried out in that section. Other than that, the nut seems to be very solid and in good condition. The rounded heel is in character with Sartory's early work. (Another very old Sartory violin bow in the Mony collection in Canada has the same rounded nut on a bow which likewise shows signs of much use.) Furthermore, this nut is 13 mm across at it widest point - allowing for an unusually wide hair band - a stabelizing factor in the bow's behaviour and characteristic of Sartory's work - which leads one to believe that this nut is the original by Sartory.

This bow was found in a state of considerable neglect. The original ivory tip slide was badly cracked and partly missing. It has since been replaced by a slide of mammoth ivory. The lapping and thumbpad are new. The cleanup and refitting of this bow was carried out by Svend Christensen - a French-trained bowmaker. The stick is perfectly straight.

Its playing properties are highly seductive and insidious. The bow appears at first as very light and supple, but you keep going back to it, and eventually won't put it down - clearly the reason for having been used so extensively. Using it is reminiscent of playing with a good Tubbs - the stick is quite supple and light, yet allows for pressure and excellent control over the string and tone. This bow draws a warm golden sound from all instruments it has been used with and responds well to the slightest variation in the player's intentions. It never gets in the way of what the violinist wants to do and makes performance real pleasure.

At 57.8 grams this is quite a light bow - further evidence of this being an early Sartory - his later bows were heavier, usually well over 60 grams.

Weight :
  57.8 g

The Stick :
  Round, of red pernambuco

The Nut :
  Ebony. Probably original to the stick, but restored with a graft to the throat. The plain silver adjuster button may be original.

Mountings :

Wrapping :
  Silver wrapping. Black leather thumbpad. All recently done by Svend Christensen.

Tip Slide :
  Mammoth ivory. Recent, by Svend Christensen.

Condition :
  Very good

Provenance :
  Present owner is Johan Grobbelaar. Previously owned by the collector, Mijo Mandiusic.

Price : Withheld
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