Bows-- repaired frog and warped stick?

October 15, 2009 at 02:22 AM ·


Over the past few weeks, I've been interested in buying a fine bow. I've gone through ~50, and I have a few questions somebody will (hopefully) be able to answer. :)

The first bow is supposedly a silver-mounted Albert Nurnberger (A trusted luthier told me this bow is a nurnberger, and I can make out an "ALBER___RERGER"), however there is no certificate of authenticity, which I though it should have (should it?). When this bow was originally introduced to me, I was told the frog had been repaired. I am not familiar with a frog repair, but I heard tip repairs will *greatly* devalue the bow, and there is a likelyhood the bow will break easier. Is this the same for a frog repair? I looked through the wood with my untrained eyes and didn't see anything of concern. The bow is selling for $1800, by the way.

The second bow is a nickel-mounted Morizot; I believe a son of his. This one does have a certificate of authenticity (I didn't pay much attention to it when the luthier showed me: it was in french). The puzzling thing about this is the inscription on it: "Jh. V AUBRY-PARIS". Wouldn't it say Morizot?  Anyway, the part that bugs me the most is that the stick has a slight warp to the right. I pointed this out to one of the luthiers, and he said something along the lines of, "this is what we call a good-warp. It won't necessarily be bad for the bow. If you like the way it plays now, you shouldn't change it." Is this true? is a slight warp to the right (when I'm looking from the frog to the tip) okay? This bow is selling for $2000.

Both bows play extraordinarily well. I was looking at bows for $1500: the jump between those bows and the two I'm looking at now is remarkable.

The person who introduced me to these bows will not be there when I make my final decision (most likely this weekand, sometime) however a good archetier will be there. I plan on asking him over the weekand, but I'd like outside input. Thanks!



Replies (35)

October 15, 2009 at 02:44 AM ·

Hello there.

Just wanted to give some of my opinions as a player as I currently own and use a Louis Morizot bow.  On the matter of authenticity for the Morizot, mine says L. Morizot, and I have a certificate of authentication...I've looked online and it seems like most of the Louis Morizot bows have a L. Morizot stamp on it.  Also, you should remember that he had 5 sons who also made bows, but regularly stamped L. Morizot on them (as their father was a very respected maker).

My Morizot bow also has a warp to the right (as you described), and from opinions of my distinguished professors, they have all said that the warp to the right was somehow better than a warp to the left...I don't know why or how, but i think it has something to do with the bow's flexibility to make a more focused sound in the "flat" position...anyway, my Morizot has lasted me more than 5 years and has gotten better and better with problems for me!

Hopefully some of the luthiers and experts here on Vcom can get you a more detailed and descriptive answer soon...Good Luck!

October 15, 2009 at 02:47 AM ·

Also, when I bought my Morizot five years ago, it was valued at a little more than $2000.  From a recent appraisal, my Morizot got appraised for a lot more...It seems that most of the L. Morizot bows on sale online have prices all above $2000.  I don't know if this means anything, but i just thought it was worth sharing...

Good Luck!

October 15, 2009 at 03:18 AM ·

I would be HIGHLY suspicious of ANY bow that has "Nurnberger" on the stick, even if someone did have a certificate of authenticity.

Nurnberger's name is to bows what Strad's name is to violins.  Lots of less than legitimate people use the name to sell bows, not that that is happening here-but for you perspective.  I have a nice stick that has Nurnberger's name on it too.  The seller of that bow of mine openly admitted it was at best a Nurnberger pupil--that didn't matter though because it is a nice stick by itself, name or no name.  Be skeptical, if the seller is wanting to sell the bow for $1800 because it is a "Nurnberger", and not simply because it is a good bow I'd try for lower.

As to the repairs, it depends on exactly what needed work.  Tip repairs repairs are different from frog repais as tip repairs greatly devalue a bow because no matter WHAT you do, you alter the designed/intended balance and agility of the stick at best, and at worst ruin it.


Regarding the other stick, whomever actually made it.  Any bow *should* have a slight camber-such that when the bow is played (hair tightened appropriatly, of course) under load into the string, the stick becomes straight.

October 15, 2009 at 03:53 AM ·

Thanks Patrick and Marc!

As of now, I like the 'morizot' bow better. Patrick, is a warp to the right something I shouldn't worry about then? One of my fears is that the severity of the warp will worsen; i can't imagine this being good. Have you noticed if it the warp has worsened since you bought the bow? As of now, the warp is only very slight (I showed my friend, who has been playing for longer than I have, and she didn't notice it until I said something). I've heard it's possible to straighten bows. Would it be worth asking an architier to do this? I love the bounce and playability it gives now, and am worried it might lose some of this.

I may try to make a stop before I decide on buying this bow (if I choose this one) and take a look at the certificate of authenticity again. I did some research, and Marcel, Louis, Paul, Andre, and George were the names of Morizot's sons. None of the initials of his sons are close to the names of his sons, which makes me wonder why it is stamped Jh. V (if it is authentic). In addition, why does this say Aubry and Paris? I thought Morizot and his sons were from Mirecourt.

The stamp on the french bow is quite clear and easy to read, which I've never seen with older-ish bows. Although I've never heard of this being done, but would somebody who fixed the bow (mabye re-made the frog, or something) ever put their own stamp on it?

As for the Nurnberger, I'm not really sure what to think anymore. I've heard of the name Nurnberger before I even went to the shop; so when i heard it, I was a bit surprised. I thought his bows were closer to $8000. The only reason I didn't question it is because of the new frog: mabye it devalued it. I'm also astonished that there is no certificate of authenticity for it. This is also something I'll ask for if I choose this bow. 

There is actually a 3rd bow I liked at the shop. It was not stamped, or the stamp was completely illegible (I don't remember which: one bow was not stamped and the stamp on the other was completely worn out/illegible). I actually think no stamp might just be safer to buy! Haha. This way, you can't charge for a fake name. It was a mirecourt, and played nicely. Now that I think about it, I don't know why I didn't choose it over one of the other ones. Oh well. I guess that just means I'm trying some more bows! (I love trying them out! It's addictive. :D)


October 15, 2009 at 04:11 AM ·

I forgot to mention earlier.. I looked at some pictures online of Nurnbergers. From my untrained eye, it looks as if the stamp is the exact same/incredibly similar to those of Nurnberger's. It also looks like it may have had that symbol he placed next to his name (I can only sort of see something that may have resembled that image, after get GER.)

Would somebody who copied his bows have the same stamp (font, position, symbols, ect)? I'm probably being optimistic.. :(

Also, does anybody know what happens in a frog repair? He tried explaining it to me, but I didn't follow what he said. (I know I've asked tons of questions, sorry! :( )



October 15, 2009 at 04:26 AM ·

If it is a good bow that you like how it plays, the name doesn't matter much at all...apart from the monetary equations.  An authentic Albert Nurnberger (with certificate) would fetch probably $4-6k today, depending on how it is mounted and the condition.

The only person who can speak about what was done to the frog is the seller. 

October 15, 2009 at 10:44 AM ·

"Would somebody who copied his bows have the same stamp (font, position, symbols, ect)? I'm probably being optimistic.. :(

Also, does anybody know what happens in a frog repair? He tried explaining it to me, but I didn't follow what he said. (I know I've asked tons of questions, sorry!"


Bow stamps can be forged, just like violin labels. If authenticity matters to you, you really need to show it to a bow expert. If resale value matters to you, you should also have that expert write a certificate, assuming the bow turns out to be something special.

The term "frog repair" doesn't specify what was done, among the host of possible procedures. Depreciation for the repair will depend on exactly what was done, and how well it was done. One repairman might do a stunning repair which will last forever, while another might hopelessly screw things up.

October 15, 2009 at 01:19 PM ·

I second David's opinion on the frog repair. It depends greatly on who did what to which part of the frog. With Nurnbergers, it also depends on when the bow was made, assuming for the moment that it came from the workshop and isn't a forgery. The older the bow, generally the more valuable it'll be, and the later ones aren't nearly as expensive as one by Franz Albert I, for instance.

As for the Morizot, it's not uncommon for Mirecourt bows to have stamps other than that of their makers. At the time, the Mirecourt makers, including the Morizots and Bazins, would make bows for the Paris dealers, who would then put their own stamp on them to sell them. Nothing was thought of it, because the bows weren't terribly expensive. So it's not unusual to see a Morizot Freres bow with a stamp that says Aubry, or Audinot, or Silvestre & Maucotel.

 One thing, though: if memory serves, the "good warp" is a warp to the left, not the right. A slight warp to the left will keep the bow stick from scraping the string when you dig in, because we tend to turn the stick away from us when we play. A warp to the right will force the stick into the string earlier.

 Good luck!

October 15, 2009 at 03:08 PM ·

this topic interests me because I have a chip on the frog of my bow and I don't know if that affects the value at all, sorry for making this about me but I'm just curious

October 15, 2009 at 03:57 PM ·

You should also be aware that anyone can issue a certificate of authenticity--just as anyone can stamp "Morizot" or "Pecatte" on an unstamped bow.  A certificate's value depends on whether it was issued by someone who is widely recognized as an expert.  (An expert can be wrong, of course, but if they're recognized by the marketplace as an authority it doesn't matter--except that if a consensus develops in the marketplace that a presumed expert's certificates are wrong too often, well, then they cease to be recognized as an expert and their certificates become worth less or just plain worthless.)  And certificates can be forged, too.  This is very much a "buyers beware" market. 

But a certificate is only relevant to the price of a violin or bow--it has nothing to do with the playing characteristics, and a bow that has no certificate, if properly priced, can be a real bargain.

"From my untrained eye, it looks as if the stamp is the exact same/incredibly similar to those of Nurnberger's."  If I wanted to pass a no-name bow off as a Nurnberger--I'm not admitting to anything, now--I'd try to make sure that my stamp looked as close as possible to Nurnberger's, especially to untrained eyes.  Usually, experts don't base their opinions on the stamp of a bow or, even less, on the label inside a violin, but rather on fine details of workmanship.

October 15, 2009 at 06:39 PM ·

I see that you are eager for a new, better bow, and that you feel you have tried a lot of bows over a fairly long time period. But if you have found that the 1st two in the step-up price have a much better feel than the under 1500 ones, maybe consider delaying & try a batch in the new price range.   

October 15, 2009 at 08:17 PM ·

What Sue said!  Don't Skimp! It's worth the extra wait!

October 15, 2009 at 08:43 PM ·

Thanks everybody! The info here is terrific :)

Marc- "If it is a good bow that you like how it plays, the name doesn't matter much at all" Although it's hard for me to do, I tried doing this today (that is, judging the bows by their playing quality rather than the name attached to it). I had my friend give me 4 bows (the 2 i own now, and the 2 new ones- of which I had my eyes closed and didn't know which was which), and I had to choose which one I liked for each. For almost everything I liked the Morizot bow better. The sound it produced (long, smooth bows) was much better than the others: it was quite surprising. I didn't realize how much of a difference there was on purely the sound.

Would any bowmaker be able to write a certificate (I'm wondering if the archetier I go to can write one.. He is very good and trustworthy)? And what exactly is the process in making a certificate?

Michael- thanks for the information on the stamp! It makes me feel a little bit better (in knowing i might not get completely ripped off :P)  :D.


As for the warp, i could't find the right/left-good-warp information when i searched for it. The only information I saw is that any warp is bad (these sites seemed like a simplistic overview for a beginner). I don't think the warp is affecting it's playing ability right now, because it is spectacular. One of the concerns (a rather big one) is the severity of it. It's not much now, but will it get worse? Also, if i have straightened, would it lose any of the playing ability that draws me to it now?

Bill- I'll definitely look more closely at the certificate, and who made it. As for the Nurnberger, well I'm becoming *much* more skeptical that it is authentic.

Sue- the 2000(ish) price range was an incredible difference from the 1500, which is why I'm probably going to do what you said and wait. I'd like to try as many bows as I possibly can, to make sure I'm choosing the best one for me :).


I'm fairly sure I won't make a decision about which bow I buy this weekend. I will, however, go to the shop and ask the archetier many of the questions that came up here. Probably will also try out more bows! :). I can't thank you guys enough!



October 15, 2009 at 09:54 PM ·

"Would any bowmaker be able to write a certificate (I'm wondering if the archetier I go to can write one.. He is very good and trustworthy)? And what exactly is the process in making a certificate?"

The process is:  you go to a bow expert, the expert looks at the bow and decides whether it's genuine, and if he or she concludes that it is, you pay the expert an amount that is usually (I think) about 5% of the value of the bow, and the expert writes you a certificate.  But not all bowmakers, even if they have the skill and experience to make excellent bows, necessarily have the knowledge and expertise to identify the makers of expensive bows--and a certificate from someone who isn't recognized in the marketplace as an expert really doesn't add value. 

You may be able to get an oral opinion for less (perhaps one or two percent of value), or maybe even for free to satisfy yourself that the bow is genuine.  On the other hand, you may find a no-name bow that's priced right (you may have to take it to someone other than the person offering it for sale to find that out) and that works for you and your fiddle.  There are lots of them out there--it's much easier to stumble on a very good no-name bow than a very good no-name violin.  In that case, you'll pay less for the bow and you won't need to spend more to assure yourself and others that it's a genuine someone or other.

October 15, 2009 at 11:00 PM ·


not an expert but two cents on Nurnbergers.  Used them for years.   More fakes or workshop only models around than discarded prune stones.    Marc is right- a good Nurnberger averages about 5000.  You really can tell the playing differnec ebetween them and the cheaper ones which may be good bows in of themselves.  

I reached a point where I no longer got compelte satisfaction from the general stiffness of Nurnbergers . I found I could get a complete new range of nuance -and power- by using classic French bows.  My favorite is a Millant that will now set you back more than 10 000.  

Lots of good modern makers out there too.  As a player I personally am not too bothered by thining in terms of investement and getting too hung up on names and certificates.



October 16, 2009 at 02:22 AM ·

Thanks Bill :D If i decide to get the Nurnberger I'll definitely look into getting a certificate; at the least an oral conformation (It'd bug me for years to come if I never did it...It'd settle the uneasiness inside me :P).

Steph- From the bows I've tried, the French ones seem more reliable/better. I took home a french and german bow (before the two ones I'm trying now ). The german one was heavy, and hard to control. The current german one isnt' sounding as good as I hoped :(. My favorite so far is the French for both sets. :)



October 16, 2009 at 02:25 AM ·

I should have added to my previous message that many dealers who don't have the expertise to issue certificates will try to obtain one for you from a reputable expert before you buy an expensive bow that's attributed to a prominent bowmaker. 

If you're serious about buying an expensive bow, the dealer will send the bow to the expert for examination.  Assuming the expert is willing to issue a certificate, the dealer will pay the expert's fee, and then add the fee to the final price you pay for the bow.  In other words, you will pay the sum of the price the dealer is asking for the bow and the expert's fee for the certificate (plus applicable taxes, of course). 

If the expert isn't willing to issue a certificate stating that the bow is what the dealer claims it is, the  dealer may or may not be willing to sell you the bow at a lower price, but you'll be spared having shelled out more than the bow is really worth.  And if a dealer isn't willing to send a high-priced bow to a recognized expert for a certificate,  then you should think twice about buying the bow. 

You need to ask around about which experts are competent to pass on the authenticity of a bow.

Unless you're a professional with enough experience to know what you'll need on a permanent basis or sufficiently well off that you don't have to worry about resale value, you should probably try to get a certificate if you pay more than, say, $3,000 for a bow (or maybe an even lower threshhold), because as your skills develop you may find sooner or later that you've outgrown the bow and want to sell it in order to buy one that better suits your needs.  Of course, if you decide to sell a bow after a few years, you probably won't get your entire investment back, because dealers have to sell a violin or bow at a higher price than they bought it for to make a profit and stay in business.  But you ought to make sure that you won't take a big loss on the resale.

By the way, I'm not an expert myself and I'm not in the market, but I think that the asking prices for the bows you're looking at are lower than they would be if the dealer thought they were authentic.  I could be wrong, but $2,000 seems like a very low price for a Nurnberger or a Morizot, even with some slight imperfections.  At that price level, it probably wouldn't be worth your while to try to get a certificate.  But you may be on to a couple of good no-name bows that might serve you well; just don't buy either of them thinking of it as an investment.  You might think about taking them to someone else to get a second opinion.

October 16, 2009 at 02:40 AM ·

Hi Mark - I'd say go for the french bow, if it outplays those in $1500 range. From what I've seen, $2000 is not a lot for a fine bow, you can barely buy any fine bows from living makers at that price. So being real Morizot or not, I think it doesn't matter too much if you really love the sound and playing quality (some very fine Morizots can be as high as $9000).

However, that said, you can always try a lot more bows in the $1800~$2500 range, and see if you can find another one that's better.

October 16, 2009 at 02:56 AM ·

wow thanks bill for all your answers!

It never even crossed my mind about taxes with violins, lol (Yikes for the people that have to pay a sales tax :( I live in a state currently that doesn't have a sales tax :D). I suppose I'm lucky, for that part.

Hmmm resale value. In the forseeable future I wouldn't see ever selling it (except mabye an upgrade). I'd use the same seller who always sells them to me. He always says he will buy back the instrument/bow for 100% of the value you paid for it (assuming it's still in good shape ect).

Losing money, wouldn't be fun however. I suppose I could/should get a certificate in case I do decide to sell it.

If the certificate for the Morizot is from a luthier who isn't well known, does it make sense to ask for another certificate of authenticity, from a more reputable luthier? Especially when it comes to resale.



October 16, 2009 at 10:29 AM ·

IMHO- If you can find a good Bausch it would be worth giving it a try.  Ludwig Bausch, a 19th cent. German bow maker, copied the Torte (so I have read).  Smiley Hsu recently acquired one, and I have one.  Again go through someone with a good rep. for bows. Bausch & his sons made cheaper models and by the turn of the previous century were mass produced!  Get ready to shuck out $3200-$5000 USD for the upper eschelon.

I wish you Good Hunting!

October 16, 2009 at 02:20 PM ·

Hi Mark,  You’ve asked some good questions here, and have already had some excellent answers from several of the responses above. I just want to address a few points here. I see that your location is in Wilmington, where there is a well reputed dealer that that although not a bow maker, is quite knowledgeable in bows and bow authenticity. Also, you mentioned above his 100% trade-in, which also means that he is confident enough in what he sells to stand behind it and eventually take it back in trade. This is a good thing to factor into your decision.


You mention that the Nurnberger frog has had a repair. Frog repairs generally are not as devaluating to the bow as head repairs. Frogs can take lots of abuse from players (and bad rehairers), and on older bows often have minor repairs. If done properly, these repairs will have little impact on the value of the bow. The asking price of $1800 for this bow sounds like the dealer has already accounted for the repairs in the price, as Nurnbergers are usually much more. In my opinion, you don’t need to be concerned with a certificate on this bow. By the way, there were about five generations of Nurnbergers that made bows, some in the French style (like Johann Christian Nurnberger who worked briefly in Vuillaume’s shop). Later bows by this family of makers (after 1900) were made in several grades and sold at different price points. The most desirable Nurnbergers were made before WWII, as the later ones are often a bit klunky feeling.


In regards to the Morizot bow, there is no need to be concerned about the stamp not saying the usual L. Morizot. Louis Morizot had 5 sons that all worked together, and all used their father's stamp. Their work is referred to as "Morizot Freres" or "Morizot Brothers."  I read somewhere that approximately half of the huge production of bows that came out of the Morizot workshop were supplied to dealers that stamped their name on them. This was (and still is) a common practice. There are countless unstamped and other-stamped bows out there that came from several of the large early 20th century Mirecourt bow shops (like Morizot, Bazin, Ouchard, etc.). The price of $2000 that you mentioned for this bow certainly sounds like a deal, as nickel mounted Morizots generally fetch higher prices these days. The fact that this bow comes with a certificate is good, especially considering that the prices for certificates from respected experts usually begin at $250.


The other thing that I wanted to address is your question about the warp in the stick. Many players will say that a bow should be absolutely straight without any warp whatsoever. Some players like a very slight warp “in the good direction” to help keep the stick off the strings when playing. [By the way, if you are holding the bow by the frog and looking down the stick, the “good warp” will be to the left side. When looking at this kind of warp, it is important that the left-side warp be evenly dispersed throughout the length of the stick, and not caused by a kink or twist.] Often a slight left-side warp is intentionally induced into the stick by having a slightly higher tension on the playing side of the horsehair than on the non-playing. My opinion as a maker and restorer, is that if the warp is so slight that it doesn’t affect the way that the bow plays for you, it is probably not too big of a deal. The next time that the bow is rehaired, the (qualified!) rehairer could easily take care of it for you.


It sounds like you are asking the right questions and taking your time in making your choice. As a player, your final decision about a bow should be based on playability and sound, not on investment or resale value. The price range that you’ve mentioned should include many great playing bows that will hold their value over time, but not necessarily bows that would be considered “investment bows.”


Josh Henry, Bow Maker & Restorer



October 16, 2009 at 02:47 PM ·

I lijke the point that Josh brought out about the seller taking a 100% trade-in price!

October 16, 2009 at 03:59 PM ·

One other point:  unless you're playing at a level where you can effortlessly toss off Paganini caprices and the Tchaikowsky concerto, you should take the bow to an experienced violinist who can put it through its paces and give you an opinion.

I wouldn't be overly concerned about authenticity in the price range you mentioned, which is not at all unreasonable for a good bow, especially if you find it suits the way you play and works well with your violin. 

Every violinist's dream is to stumble on a superb violin or bow with some defect that has no effect on its playing characteristics but that drastically reduces its price:  an uncertain or dubious origin, or a scroll that's not original, or a frog that's chipped, for example (but not a repaired stick, especially if the repair is to the head).

October 16, 2009 at 07:50 PM ·

Josh! Thank you so much!!!!!! :-)

You've answered almost all of the million questions i had :D. I believe the seller I go to is the same person you are talking about in Wilmington. He does seem to know a lot about bows and violins. Some of the things make me skeptical, however, such as his claim that a warp to the right is the good side. I'm going to the shop tomorrow, and I'll have the archetier look at the bow, and probably try some new bows (if there are any that I haven't tried). I'm assuming the archetier would know what I should do when he looks at the bow.

One of my 'teachers' (she isn't a private teacher) tried both bows. She's played for 50-som years and said the Morizot one played better overall (in sound, bouncieness, and controlling it for hard passages). I'll ask both her and my private teacher to play with the bow before I make a final decision.

The reason I was concerned about re-sell value is incase I sell it to somebody besides this person. For reasons I don't wish to say here, I may have to sell the bow (as in, the next ~10 years... if I didn't upgrade or anything).


October 16, 2009 at 07:53 PM ·

Also to add about the warp, the stick has never been repaired (from my knowledge... I also don't see anything when I look at the wood), and it seems the warp is gradual. (there is no kinks or sudden turns in the bow)


October 17, 2009 at 02:01 AM ·

Oh, and one more question:

"My opinion as a maker and restorer, is that if the warp is so slight that it doesn’t affect the way that the bow plays for you, it is probably not too big of a deal. The next time that the bow is rehaired, the (qualified!) rehairer could easily take care of it for you."

I'm going to the shop tomorrow. If the warp is too severe, I'll take his (the archetier) advice on what to do. Is it possible, when he fixes it, that it will lose some playability that it has now? Assuming there are no other bows I like, I will buy this bow in the next week. :)

I'll let you know the results of my visit tomorrow! :)


October 17, 2009 at 01:49 PM ·

Hi Mark, If the warp to the right side is not too severe (meaning that it is nearly straight), then any slight straightening should not affect the playability as long as the camber is not affected. [The process of straightening a warp and adjusting the camber is very similar--warps are side-to-side on a stick, and camber adjustments are up-and-down.] If the warp to the right is more severe, then you might feel a difference in the way the bow plays after it is straightened. This would be due to a slight increase of tension of the hair on the playing side of the stick. My opinion is that this would make the bow play better, not worse. If you already like the way the bow plays, I think that you would like it even more after it is straightened.

Josh Henry, Bow Maker & Restorer

October 17, 2009 at 09:14 PM ·


I went to the shop earlier today, and looked at every bow  in my price range. I still have the French Morizot I had before, but I took out a different mirecourt bow (and gave back the Nurnberger).

New Bow: Silver mounted, octagonal, Mirecourt. The stamp is completely illegible, and the shop didn't know the maker. It looks really old, but I don't know how old or anything. It's a bit heavier (at least compared to the Morizot), but it's a comfortable weight. I haven't gotten to play it much, but I really like it :). It's $1800.

I asked the archetier about the warp in the Morizot, and he said it's something he could/should fix. He said exactly what Josh said; in that it won't take anything away from the bow: just make it better.

By the way, how much would cost to fix a warp? 2000 is pushing it for the price of the bow, so I want to make sure the final price isn't too much.


October 17, 2009 at 11:41 PM ·

Hi Mark, I’m glad to hear that your visit to the shop today was fun and productive. You are going through the right process of trying out bows and asking questions, but you might want to search the archives about choosing a bow because you are new to the community. On this post I wrote some advice to another person looking to choose a bow. There are also a number of other threads on this topic that you might find of interest. Just a quick point--as you are trying out bows, be aware of the tendency of trying to find that “perfect, do-everything” bow. I’ve worked with many people that find a bow that they really like, but then spend the next three (or more) months trying to find a bow that is better/cheaper/French/or whatever, and then return to purchase the bow that they originally picked out.


To answer your question about the cost of straightening a bow, at this point, it should be included in the purchase price of the bow when you buy it. The price of straightening and cambering a bow will vary quite a bit depending on who is doing it, where it is done, and the value of the bow. It is not uncommon to see prices ranging from $25 up to $200 or more for straightening or recambering a bow.


Also, just a note about straightness: over time, a bow will often go out-of-straight or lose camber. This is not a defect in the stick or the bow. Often, players will break out hair from only the playing side, which will warp the stick in the opposite direction. Over time, with much playing, a bow will also lose camber, which means that periodically, a bow will need to have the camber adjusted for optimal playing. Again, this is not a defect or weakness, but just something that happens with playing. These things are easily correctable for a repairman that has been trained in this.


Josh Henry, Bow Maker & Restorer

October 18, 2009 at 12:04 AM ·

Thank you so much Josh :) You've helped me so much :-)

I have looked all over the internet about how to chose a bow. I have found myself looking for that "perfect, do-everything bow" though. For the amount I play and am interested in violin, I can't buy multiple bows for multiple reasons (unless they are all fairly cheap-300ish). The $2,000 bows are doing everything much better than any $300 i tried, in every aspect (if that makes any sense :P).

I'm not going to go to another shop to look for this 'perfect' bow, though. I plan on purchasing one of these two bows next weekend. I have found myself, however, liking the same one I liked from the start  (the Morizot)

Since this bow is warped, does it have a higher chance of becoming warped again in the near future? My understanding of your post made me think it won't (if I'm interpreting it right), and that it will have an 'equal' chance of warping. That price doesn't seem too high, but I wouldn't want to be coming in every other month to get it fixed.

From what I've noticed the past few hours, the new unnamed French one doesn't seem to have as good as a sound as the Morizot. That said, I have more control in some passages, such as rapid string crossings: often times the Morizot wants to do its own thing: I feel that the bow is driving away from the string instead of digging in. Am I being overly optimistic, or is it possible that when the warp is fixed I will be able to control the bow better?


October 18, 2009 at 02:40 AM ·

Hi Mark,

Although I don't have much experiences in bow, but if you would think about the warp happen the same way as camber. Every bow will somewhat lost the camber sooner or later, by the time you think the bow warped badly enough that it need to be straighten, then the camber probably need to be re-camber too.

It's mentioned that warping can be other reasons, most commonly due to rehairing process - one side of the hair has higher tension than the other side. If I'm you I might just look at the bow before tightening the bow and see if it's naturally warped.

Regarding the bow steering away, I would stay away from anything I'm not happy with the bow right now, if I'm you. It's like choosing a violin, say, you like everything except a weak E, thinking that soundpost adjustment or general setup will solve the problem, but most of the cases, it's not 100% guarantee. Unless you want to place your bet and gamble, which might not be a bad thing afterall.

By the way, if the bow doesn't seems to track on the strings well, probably due to balancing of the stick. I have a slightly-warped-to-the-right german bow, it's very stable on the strings, all the way up to the tip, but it's not as agile as other bows I have, so bouncing strokes are a little sluggish. So I think warped stick not a universal problem for bows that is not sticking to the strings well?

October 18, 2009 at 11:01 AM ·

Mark, if I was in your shoes, and the bow needs straightening, I would have this done before making a purchase decision.

October 18, 2009 at 05:12 PM ·

Thats a good point david. I'll talk to the seller when I go back, for he'll be there this time. If I decide on the bow that does need straightening, I'll see if it can be done before I make a purchase.


October 18, 2009 at 06:20 PM ·

David makes a very sensible point.  

May 8, 2010 at 09:31 PM ·

Just found this in the archives the OP wrote:

"The second bow is a nickel-mounted Morizot; I believe a son of his. This one does have a certificate of authenticity (I didn't pay much attention to it when the luthier showed me: it was in french). The puzzling thing about this is the inscription on it: "Jh. V AUBRY-PARIS". Wouldn't it say Morizot? "

Its interesting because I have a Dieudonne atelier violin which has both Aubry (who was a recognized luthier in his own right) and his son's signatures on the plate.  I did some research on this and if the OP is still following this topic i can provide some more information.



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