Hermann W. Prell, Fine Violin Bow – Markneukirchen circa 1905


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We have a fantastic H.W. Prell violin bow, mounted in sterling silver, with the brand on the bow worn off by many years of concerts and hundreds of hours of practice. Yet the bow is in fabulous condition after a great spa treatment and replacing the worn leathers. This is an early work of Hermann Wilhem Prell (1875-1925). The stamp H.W. PRELL is all but illegible. I have tried everything to bring out the makers brand on the player’s side. I purchased this bow in 2019 from the bow collection of Bruce Babbitt, bow connoisseur and collector. It is a fantastic bow and checks all the boxes as an early Prell bow with E. Sartory influence.

Prell learned the art of bow making in Markneukirchen from Henrich Hoyer between 1890-1893. His journeyman’s years were spent working for Albert Nürnberger from 1893-1895 and August Rau in 1896. The period from 1897-1898 were spent in Paris with E. Sartory. Prell came back to set up his own shop in Markneukirchen in 1899.

The head of the bow shows the Parisian influence, particularly in the work of the elegant tip of the bow. The bow has a flat, very thin front for sure and the bow has a facial that is stiff appearing on the flat plate surface. The ferrule on the frog is slightly wider, and the mother-of-pearl slide is slightly wider at the ferrule end than at the heel. This bow has a mother-of-pearl for the full length of the slide and back heel. The ebony blind eye frog is also spot on with fine steel pins holding the metal lining to the frog. The pernambuco wood is choice with medium-firm strength and beautiful orange/brown color. It is round in section and mounted in sterling silver fittings. The entire bow oozes craftsmanship and precise skill. Yes, the bow is a Markneukirchen gem.

Weight fully haired 58.0 grams.
The dimensions of the bow are 74.5 cm in length includes the silver adjuster.
The balance point is @ 25.3 cm.