Excellent German Violin Bow by Otto Adler, Mittenwald c. 1932 -CURRENTLY OUT ON TRIAL-


click picture to enlarge


OTTO ADLER and “GERMANY” on the bottom flat behind the frog

Bow makers are artisans in a combination of three areas: woodworking, jewelry work, and hair dressing. This Adler bow is superb in all three of those areas. He was a German bowmaker of fine quality work. Otto August Reinhard Adler was born in 1910 in Markneukirchen, Germany where he learned his craft. Staying in Germany, he moved to Mittenwald to open his own shop and work. He died in 1945 in Mittenwald at the age of 35, probably because of WW II.

This bow is firm and a strong player. The head is excellent, masculine and the stick has a reddish dark brown appearance to the pernambuco wood, almost chocolate in color. The pearl in the slide is gorgeous, flecked in pink and green hues. The frog has Parisian eyes with small 3.0 mm mother-of-pearl eyes and a 1.0 mm width silver rings slightly set a few millimeters away from the eyes. The stick is finished with a solid endscrew cap, made akin to a Pfretzschner workshop violin bow. The fittings are in sterling silver and the ebony is quite dark, old stuff – very nice, like he acquired it from a well-established shop that had ample supply. Even in his short life, Adler was known to be a profound and perfectionated craftsman. I’m sure he learned his craft in Markneukirchen because his work is similar to Pfretzschner bows but I have no real proof that he spent time in that shop. It is my educated hunch because he grew up in the same town and because his work is spot on to the Pfretzschner look and quality of work. I have seen other Adler bows, and his workmanship does not wane. To be this good at such a young age – Wow. I believe he was taught well and then took it to another level. This is what good apprentices do. Learn, glean, and listen to as much as you can and then take that knowledge to another level. Well done, Otto! Because of the quality of this bow, we meticulously spent more time on the bow in the workshop. We replaced the silver tinsel winding and leather thumb as we felt it was too far gone to leave in a poor state for this outstanding bow. It deserved a new winding in the same medium, tinsel with a little pizzaz- the blue thread. The frog, endscrew, and head/tip are all original. This is a tremendous beautiful German bow from a gifted maker and ready to find a new home.

Weight fully haired 59.4 grams.