French Workshop bows

January 4, 2008 at 02:21 AM · I know there has been a lot of discussion on bows on this forum, but I was just wondering about the value of certified French workshop bows. I saw this interesting bow that is unstamped but is attributed to be a Charles Bazin workshop bow and comes with certificate from Raffin in Paris, stating exactly that. I am just curious whether this is a good buy or not. Any suggestions are welcome.

Replies (24)

January 4, 2008 at 03:52 AM · It depends. How much is it? Have you played it? I have a Charles Nicholas Bazin which I'm not really fond of because the wood lacks density and a focused sound. Other bows of his I've seen have used the same wood.

January 4, 2008 at 05:32 AM · Hi,

It's a nice bow. Plays quite well. Selling at $3000. But what I am more interested in is the credibility of a Raffin certificate. Does a Raffin certificate make the bow, truly what it is and make it worth that much for a workshop bow.

January 4, 2008 at 07:11 AM · You can visit Jean Francois Raffin's english-language website at

If your bow has a certificate from his shop, I assume it has a detailed description and photographs as well? While these establishments do make errors from time to time, it simply isn't in the interest of any prominent luthier/archetier to certificate instruments/bows that they aren't really sure about. Given Raffin's background and expertise in bows, if the cert. is real then for a bow of that value you can probably assume that things are kosher. :)

January 4, 2008 at 07:31 AM · Actually, if you haven't figured it out yet, many of the discussions here hinge on advertising.

January 4, 2008 at 07:06 PM · Can you have someone else look at it? $3000 isn't a lot of money anymore, so it's not a huge risk as long as it's French, from the early 20th century, and has no repairs. I just got a Hill bow for $5000 (I remember when they were $2000), and most decent modern bows go for $4000.

January 4, 2008 at 09:25 PM · Hi Jack

Which Bazin workshop? CN Bazin or Charles Bazin?

Raffin is regarded as one of the two most important bow experts in the world (The other is B.Millant).

Generally I am not to keen on 'workshop' bows (Unless by a more Famous maker) but if it works for you go for it!



January 4, 2008 at 11:28 PM · What is wrong with "workshop" bows Sean? I see Mr.Raffin sells them regularly on his website.Are they not good value?

January 4, 2008 at 11:35 PM · Scott -

I also have a Charles N. Bazin with a Vuillaume copy frog. Though I love the sound it produces, it does have a tendancy to be out of focus. I found that if I use salt and pepper hair from bass bows, I get that bite that I am looking for.

January 4, 2008 at 11:42 PM · Hi Peter

Nothing that wrong with a workshop bow....and I know Raffin does certs for a lot of these (!). I just feel for the same money you could get a bow made by a stated or old.

Still the great thing about bows is there is a bow for every price range........



January 5, 2008 at 03:44 PM · Thanks for that Sean.I only ask because I don't know much about workshop bows.Lets say you have a bow from the workshop of Henry.How much input would M.Henry have had in making that bow? Would it have had to meet his approval before leaving the shop? Was this hypothetical bow made under his strict supervision or would he have little to do with it other than maybe stamping it?

January 5, 2008 at 05:53 PM · Just curious, who is the best bow appraisers in New York or in the US?

January 5, 2008 at 06:31 PM · Paul Childs and Isaac Salchow both NY

January 5, 2008 at 08:33 PM · Hi Peter

I am sometimes not sure what makes a workshop bow! If the hand of the maker (stamped) was evident you could bet your bottom dollar the cert would say this......

But they never do!

Of course the said bow must be in the style, have similar features of the original, similar wood etc etc



January 6, 2008 at 12:01 AM · Does Salchow and others charge by percentage for a certificate or do they have a flat fee?

January 6, 2008 at 02:29 AM · It sounds like so much "grayness" sometimes when authenticating bows.Do you think its best to stay away from these "workshop" bows?

January 6, 2008 at 09:04 PM · All I can say about workshop bows is that I normally do not sell them (or buy them).......but again if it plays better than anything you can find then buy it!

good luck


January 7, 2008 at 02:18 PM · For a good estimation of your bows, you could send them to my father, Mr Jean-Fran├žois RAFFIN, or send some good pictures of them by email. We can help you to estimate your bows.

Many thanks to Mr BISHOP for his confidence...

January 11, 2008 at 01:06 PM · What is your opinion on workshop bows Sandrine? Are they a good investment? Also,I am looking for a frog and adjuster for a Charles Peccatte violin bow.Would you have any available?

January 17, 2008 at 01:17 AM ·

January 21, 2008 at 08:51 AM · I am so sorry for my absence... The work of the assistants of a bow maker is often a very good work (respect of the spirit and the know-how of the master).

You could have a really good stick from a workshop and a bad stick from the master. In fact, some bow makers stamped the work of their best assistants. If you seek a good stick at the best price, a stick from workshop is an excellent compromise.

January 21, 2008 at 12:19 PM ·

January 21, 2008 at 05:25 PM ·

January 22, 2008 at 03:21 AM · The certificate doesn't mean anything really. It doesn't guarantee anything; the origin, value, quality, etc. You have to try it out for at least a week to be sure the quality of the bow, and then the price has to be right which you can do some research, or talk to your luthier if you have one. Good luck!

July 22, 2015 at 01:57 PM ·

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