William Salchow

February 8, 2009 at 04:12 AM ·

Can anyone share any information regarding the bow maker, William Salchow? I'd like to know more about his craftsmanship, methods, etc. I read his biography on his website, but other than that I don't know much about him or his bows. I looked through previous threads but didn't find very much information.

Replies (11)

February 8, 2009 at 12:21 PM ·

He's one of the "Deans" of our trade.

February 8, 2009 at 03:09 PM · Impeccable reputation, an American master. Sue

February 8, 2009 at 04:36 PM ·

Mr. Salchow is one of the most respected American bow makers still living today. Although, I don't believe that he makes too many bows these days, he was one of the only Americans making bows in his early days (1960's). If I remember correctly, he studied bow making in France under Barjonnet, and then went on to establish himself in this country. Today, his shop in NYC includes his son and grandson, specialists in bow making, restoration, and identification.

Mr. Salchow is almost single-handedly responsible for the blossoming of bow-making in this country. He taught many of this country's premiere makers, and his influence as a maker and teacher extends much further. In 2004 at a Federation meeting in Washington, DC, he was honored with a lifetime achievement award. The thing though that brought tears to his eyes was when the audience was asked how many people had been influenced by Mr. Salchow's work--and about two-thirds of the auditorium stood and gave him an ovation. He is certainly regarded as a fine maker.

If you have the opportunity to try one of his bows, do not pass it up.

Josh Henry, Bow Maker & Restorer

February 8, 2009 at 10:18 PM ·

Thanks Josh,  Adam, I guess you get the picture. Mr. Salchow took the time to critique my first sellable bow at the meeting in D.C. It was a real honor.

February 8, 2009 at 11:12 PM ·

 Thank you all for your responses. I knew that Mr. Salchow was well-known but I had no idea of his prominence as an American maker.

February 9, 2009 at 04:41 AM ·

Bill Salchow is pretty famous.  His son Isaac is no slouch either.


February 9, 2009 at 05:11 AM ·

"Bill Salchow is pretty famous.  His son Isaac is no slouch either."

Actually, Adam--a small correction:  Bill's son (that works with him in the shop) is named Steve. Bill's Grandson is Isaac Salchow. As you say though, he is also a very good bow maker.

Josh Henry, Bow Maker & Restorer

February 20, 2009 at 02:14 AM ·

 Just wondering (if anyone has any input)-- what is the typical price of a Salchow bow? How much does it vary between the three (father, son, grandson)? Does anyone know how much is costs to commission a Salchow bow?

February 20, 2009 at 04:24 AM ·

Adam--the best source to answer your questions about Salchow bows is not here, but the Salchow shop itself. They are very friendly and I'm sure that they could answer questions like yours much more accurately than anyone else. Their website is www.salchowbows.com/ and their shop phone number is 212.586.4805. 

Josh Henry, Bow Maker & Restorer

February 20, 2009 at 05:06 AM ·

Adam, call the shop and ask.

Phone: 212 586-4805

If you get Bill on the phone, be prepared for a skewering sense of humor from a very warm-hearted man. He also might say strange things just for amusement at your reaction. If one has the clout, why be "normal"?

Bill Salchow has been one of the strongest influences toward recognizing traditional French approaches versus modern "machine-age" sterililty.

I happen to love the guy, so take what I say with a grain of salt.


Looks like Josh beat me with a recommendation to contact! :-)

February 23, 2009 at 05:28 AM ·

when I googled, I got these interesting sites that have info on the Salchow family:

All about Bows & Bow Makers  &  List of Contemporary Bow Makers

From what I have read, Isaac Salchow (William's grandson)  is carrying on the tradition of this family with lots of success. 

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