Pfretzschner Workshop Violin Bow Markneukirchen circa 1930


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“PFRETZSCHNER” on player’s side
“GERMANY” on bottom flat

Pfretzschner is one of the most prevalent names in German instrument and bow making. The Pfretzschner luthier family can be traced back to the early 1700s in Markneukirchen, one of the important centers of German violin and bow making. Although numerous instrument-building families shared the surname, many were unrelated. By the end of the 19th century, the famous Pfretzschner dynasty of bow makers were well established and would succeed in raising the level of German bow making to rival the best French makers of the period. This was largely due to the work of Hermann Richard Pfretzschner (1857-1921) who spent time in Paris (1871-1875) to work and study with J.B. Vuillaume, who recognized the young man’s skill. H.R. Pfretzschner was a pioneer of French bow making in Germany and created new standards in the industry. After Villaume’s death in 1875 H.R. returned to the family business eventually establishing his own shop in Markneukirchen in 1880. His shop supplied many unstamped and stamped bows made in the French style to German firms and to the finest shops in London, Paris, and New York. At any given time, the Pfretzschner shop employed 6-7 workers.

This is a fine bow made in the family firm’s Markneukirchen workshop. We have meticulously gone over the bow and replaced the original sterling silver winding with the exact gauge and length of silver and cut new leathers for the thumb and lapping. Other than the silver winding and leathers everything on the bow is original. The bow is in impeccable condition. The frog is Parisian eye, the head, frog, and endscrew are typical Pfretzschner modeling, the endscrew is spot on Pfretzschner workmanship, and the pernambuco wood is flawless. The wood is firm in octagonal section with gorgeous color. This is for the player looking for something unique.

Weight fully haired 60.0 grams.