French Violin Bow Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy, Mirecourt circa 1880-1900


click picture to enlarge


no legible stamp
Capital “A” on the butt behind the frog

For over 100 years, J.T.L.- the Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy firm was one of the largest sources of instruments in Europe and was a leading name in violin making in the French town of Mirecourt. It was founded in the mid-19th century when several successful workshops began formally collaborating. The firm’s success was threefold: high standards in their products, developing talented apprentices while collaborating, and marriage. In 1861 two well established family businesses joined forces. Jérôme Thibouville partnered with Charles Buthod and Charles-Claude Husson and shortly after, in 1861, Jérôme married Marguerite Hyacinthe Lamy and the firm changed its name to Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy ( J.T.L.). The company became the largest of the Mirecourt violin making workshops and at its peak it produced over 150,000 instruments and bows annually and employed 1,000 craftsmen.

This is a restoration of a Mirecourt violin bow I have had in my collection since 1980. The faded tag on the bow said that I purchased the stick with a violin on July 26, 1980. I was seventeen years old in high school. Covid time allowed me many hours to work alone, pulling and reviewing all my bows. I finally got to prioritize the collection of hundreds of sticks. As a young guy I lived and breathed baseball, umpiring, and all things violin related. I was totally into instruments and bows and with my dad I spent many weekends collecting and purchasing string instruments in the New York/New Jersey area where I grew up. This bow has been sitting in one of my many boxes of old bows for almost 45 years. I’m now getting to restore these bows and enjoying bringing them back to life.

This is a WOW! French J.T.L. violin bow with a beautiful handmade frog. The stick butt end has a capital A branded on the pernambuco just behind the frog. The bow is round-section, nickel mounts, and is in very good condition. This violin bow was made in the Late 19th century in the workshop of the famous firm of Jérôme Thibouville-Lamy. The (J.T.L.) firm employed many of the best bowmakers of his time, such as Jean-Joseph Martin, Louis Gillet, Pierre Auguste Barbe, Charles Husson, Jean Maline, and Nicolas Thomassin. The bow is a lightweight, strong but flexible round stick made from choice pernambuco with a finely crafted head and is well balanced. We have meticulously gone over the entire bow giving it a new tip, a new nickel silver winding, and a new leather thumb grip. The frog and three-piece endscrew are original. The pernambuco wood on the stick is choice, being dense and straight. Handling the bow over the years has darkened the wood at the frog end and at the tip. The ebony frog is handsomely made, and the edges are worn from many years of careful playing. A player will love the feel of the bow and the strength of the stick. The frog is inlaid into the stick, bringing the stick and hair closer together in that relationship. The heel of the bow is one-piece, and the lining and heel are held together by silver pin work. The stick is easy to control, light, and balanced. Yes, this bow may very well become the new stick in your arsenal that becomes a tremendous sound enhancer.

Weight fully haired 59.2 grams