Ref :   0968

A superb French violin bow attributed to
Joseph Vigneron
Paris, circa 1890

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For many decades this was the principal bow of an important violinist. With reference to it, a note read: 'Vigneron - round stick. Hill's certificate lost by Durban-based violin maker, Amon Bilmark.' Such an account, if true, would make sense, since Amon Bilmark (1894 - 1961) - who was a student of Simone Sacconi in Rome, was also an important dealer in fine instruments and bows, most of which he imported directly from important dealerships in Europe. It would also explain some of this bow's provenance back to the firm of Hill. However, the absence of a certificate could also open the door over time for misattribution.

This bow is made from the most beautiful pernambuco imaginable - exceptionally fine-grained with distinct vertical flames cutting across the entire length of the stick. This meticulous selection in using only extremely fine materials for his work was a characteristic of Joseph Vigneron (1851-1905). A further pointer that this is probably Joseph's work and not that of his son, André Vigneron (1882-1924), is the extreme refinement and elegance of the work throughout and the superb head. However, that being said, the son's work in later years eclipsed that of the father to the extent that bows by the two makers are virtually indistinguishable, all the more so since the son used the father's stamp for a long time after Joseph's death.

In this case the stamp is so worn as to be illegible - only faintly visible in very bright light. The impeccable fit of the frog and adjuster button would lead one to believe that they are original to the bow. However, the Vignerons almost always used parisian eyes in the frogs and their adjuster buttons were mostly a solid silver sleeve and not the three-ring type as in this case. And so the exact origin is still elusive and it remains for a top expert to pin down the bow's authorship.

This bow has extraordinary playing properties which make it a concert bow of high order. Its deceptive elegance hides a firmness which allows for great tone production, superb articulation and exceptional balance and steadiness. This is the kind of dream bow that makes the most difficult bowing passages a lot easier.

Weight : 59.8 g

The Stick :
  High-grade pernambuco, well-figured

The Nut :
  Ebony with simple eyes

Mountings :

Lapping :
  Silver lapping. Black leather thumbpad.

Tip Slide :

Condition :
  Superb condition.
A minor repair to the tip's off-side flank was necessitated by careless rehairing. The repair was evidently carried out by Amon Bilmark before his death in 1961 and can be considered as stable, not threatening the structural integrity of the tip.

Provenance :
  According to available information this bow was bought from the Hill firm in England and brought to South Africa by the violin maker and dealer, Amon Bilmark. It had a Hill certificate which was lost by Bilmark. who sold it as a Vigneron. It was used for many years as the principal bow of a foremost violinist.
The bow is now the property of Johan Grobbelaar

Price : On application
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