CH. BUTHOD- PARIS, French Pit Bass Bow, circa 1860-1880


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Stamped on player’s side: CH BUTHOD-PARIS

We have a French model pit bass bow, specifically made shorter for playing in orchestra pits in Europe. Space in pit orchestras for an acoustic string bass has always been tight and more so in European theaters in the 1800’s. This bow serves a unique functional need for the pit player and is in great condition for its age. Buthod (1810-1889) was born and died in Mirecourt, France where he was surrounded by makers and an entire instrument building industry. Mirecourt was a hub for violin makers and as the quality and demand rose for instruments in the 1800’s so did the need for bow makers and high-quality bows. Buthod worked with Vuillaume for several years in Paris and left to start a large firm in Mirecourt. He produced fine bows as well as violins, violas, and cellos. This is a pernambuco specie bow in round section, ebony frog with single mother-of-pearl eyes mounted in nickel silver. The frog is fully lined and has a three-piece endscrew. The stick has an overall length of 25 ¾ inches which is about 2 ½- 3.0 inches shorter that a modern ¾ size bass bow. The hair length is 20 ¼ inches whereas the gram weight leans to the lighter side of a French bass bow at 123.8 grams. The balance and playability are remarkable for a smaller bow of this size. The stick is firm – like a rock and a player will fall in love with this French gem from the late 1800’s.

Weight fully haired 123.8 grams.

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