A. VIGNERON A PARIS c. 1920 Exquisite Markneukirchen Violin Bow


click picture to enlarge

Yes, I’m really into fine older German bows. They are truly outstanding. Markneukirchen, the hub of German bow making, is the origin of this stick. Sorry, not Paris. I can’t believe this stick is not finished in sterling silver mounts. It’s a beautiful playing stick that has strength and subtle flexibility. The pernambuco wood choice is WOW! and the stick is worked down by the maker at intervals determined by the maker working in the medium knowing his craft to make the stick as thin as possible yet strong. The grain is tight grain and is a beautiful light brown color. Even though a definite German bow the frog is in a French style with rounded edges and strong chamfers. The name on the bow and frog style are done to the give the appearance of a fine French bow. After WW I, German families were without a doubt struggling economically just to survive and to put food on their tables. Instrument, and especially bow makers, struggled to exist in Germany. The only countries with money to spend on these luxuries were found in the West – France, England, and North Americans were not buying anything that had Germany or Deutschland stamped on it or even somehow sounded like a German name. A. Vigneron was a very famous French bow maker, so why not borrow his name. German makers did this to survive. This kind of marketing would also happen all over again in the 1940’s.

I really like the classic blind eye frog in ebony. It is simple and tastefully executed, with slightly overdone chamfers. The frog sits in a track cut 1.0 mm into the pernambuco stick. Everything about this bow is quality, the pernambuco stick, octagonal section, the delicate frog with a gorgeous mother-of-pearl slide with green and pink hues. The winding is original and shows a little wear but is fully functional, with a new leather thumb grip and collar. The tip and frog are all original too. This is a beautiful bow with strength and a good balance, with an overall gram weight of 64.0 grams. The bow balances at 24.7 cm or very close to 9 ¾ “.

This bow plays better than well, and the craftsmanship is a knock-out. Again, the bow should have been completed in sterling silver. If it was sterling mounted it may have fetched twice the price. It is a great playing bow and will easily compete with modern handmade bows in the $2500.00 range. One hundred-year-old German quality that will make a home in a player’s case soon.

Weight fully haired 64.0 grams.