Victor Fetique

May 10, 2006 at 04:20 AM · What are you opinions of his bows. This particular bow I am trying is very nice. It draws a warm slightly darker sound and is quite agile. I know it is difficult seeing as you will be unable to examine the bow, but generally what is a fair price for a fine bow of Victor Fetique?

Replies (34)

May 10, 2006 at 06:59 AM · A fair price depends on a lot of things. How nice the particular example is and the condition. I have tried some V. Fetique but find them to stiff for my taste. Before you buy I recommend you to try a Jules Fetique. They are much better bows (some say constently better than Sartory) but harder to find.

May 10, 2006 at 02:45 PM · I've seen the best examples go for like $14,000. I tried two great Fetiques at Remenyi's in Toronto, but I liked something else better.

With that name I don't even attempt at understanding the pricing because it's all over the place. The father I believe produced a lot of bows, many of which were not at the highest level, so it dilutes the value.

May 13, 2006 at 11:54 AM · Peter, that is true. Some bows were also produced in Germany and assembled and stamped Fétique in Paris at his shop, explaining the lower value.


May 14, 2006 at 01:30 AM · Christian,

Actually, to be more precise, for a short period Victor Fetique had a German assistant working for him in Paris. The name is Paul Weidhaas.

Paul's work was also 1st class and the high quality of his bows and his good business sense made Paul Weidhaas one of the most important German bow makers of the mid-20th century.

There have been many counterfeits at that time, perhaps made in Germany, but it had no connection to Fetique. It was similar to the story poor Sartory had to endure (dealing with counterfeit bows which were being shipped to the US and sold as original Sartory).

May 14, 2006 at 02:07 PM · Hi,

Gennady - thanks. I did not know that. Very good to know.


May 15, 2006 at 07:27 PM · does anyone know how much kittel bows would go for? I heard they are hard to get a hold of.

May 15, 2006 at 11:55 PM · Genuine Kittel's are rare.........which makes them desirable..........which makes them expensive.

June 9, 2007 at 05:41 AM · It has been a while, since we discussed this maker, Victor Fetique.

I like his work very much, in fact I won my job at Seattle Symphony playing V.Fetique bow.

Incredibly strong and reliable.

These bows have gone up in value considerably.

12K-14K sounds like a good ball park, but again a lot depends on the condition, provenance if any, if it is gold mounted and or an exhibition bow etc. I have seen some exhibition bows (of his) that are exquisite, and ofcourse more money....

June 9, 2007 at 05:03 PM · Gennady wrote: "Actually, to be more precise, for a short period Victor Fetique had a German assistant working for him in Paris. The name is Paul Weidhaas."

Hi Gennady;

Maybe I'm mistaken, but I thought it was Ewald Weidhaas (Paul Weidhaas' father) who worked for Victor Fetique? Did Paul Weidhaas also work with Fetique later on?

Ewald Weidhaas was Johannes Finkel's great-grandfather, I believe.

Concerning Victor Fetique bows: Like bows from most makers, they certainly vary, but some can be very fine... and the maker has a fine reputation overall. If you (the originator of the thread) have one you like that's priced fairly, I'd would not try to convince you to buy something else.

Someone mentioned Jules Fetique as well... I usually love bows by Jules... but the style is very different. It's not as though someone might like a bow by Jules because they like one by Victor. It's more like suggesting there are nice bows by several makers in that price range... In other words, the last name is where the real similarity stops.

Pieter, I don't think the Fetique relationship is father/son...

June 9, 2007 at 06:35 PM · Jeffrey,

Long time no hear.....

How are you?

Hmmm........btw, yes you are mistaken :)

If you own the book "Deutsche Bogenmacher/The German Makers 1783-1945", you will see a very nice photo in the "well known German makers" section of Paul Weidhaas with Victor Fetique.

His bio info that is available in this publication (for Paul Weidhaas) and others, confirms the same info that I have stated.

Also see "L'Archet" by Millant/Raffin, same info confirmed.


Jules Fetique, was also an excellent maker whose early work resembles very much the work of Sartory. No surprise, since he left his apprenticeship with C.N.Bazin in 1902 to work for Sartory in Paris.

In 1930's after having worked for CARESSA & FRANCAIS shop, he set up his own shop in Paris. It was in this period that he was inspired very much by the Peccatte school. He made some very fine copies of the great Master's work (D. Peccatte). These examples from the mid 1930's onwards (he died in 1951), mark the beginnings of the new Parisian school of the 1950's ('the square head').

BTW, In 1927 Jules Fetique was awarded the highest honor conferred to craftsmen by the French Government, the title of "Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France" for the recognition of extremely high quality and cosistency of his work.

Pieter, incidentally Jules and Victor were brothers.

June 9, 2007 at 07:00 PM · HI Gennady;

I'm doing very well... Thank you for asking! I've been a little busy in the shop and with some "extra-curricular" activities (a couple short articles that were/are being published & and working with a web designer to update my site) that I haven't had much time for the web lately. Summer looks like it may be a little more relaxed. :-)

You wrote "Hmmm........btw, yes you are mistaken :)

If you own the book "Deutsche Bogenmacher/The German Makers 1783-1945", you will see a very nice photo in the "well known German makers" section of Paul Weidhaas with Victor Fetique."

I stand corrected. I knew the history listed in the books (but had forgotten about the photo). I've known Johannes Finkel for a couple decades... it was the verbal history from Johannes I’d mixed up. I incorrectly recalled that it was his great-grandfather, but it was in fact his grandfather. Here's the (correct) story from the family website (that confirms your post):

"Johannes S. Finkel, born in 1947 is the fourth generation of bowmakers of the Finkel-Weidhaas bowmakers dynasty. He was trained by his father, Siegfried Finkel, who moved from Markneukirchen to Switzerland in 1952. His great grandfather was Ewald Weidhaas (b 1869;d 1939). His grandfather Paul Weidhaas, who studied with Bausch (undoubtedly after A.E. Prager) and with V. Fétique in Paris and then worked on his own in Markneukirchen."



June 9, 2007 at 07:01 PM · so what articles are you working on and where & where will they appear?

June 10, 2007 at 04:19 AM · Hi again Gennady;

The first one was a short article that appeared in the May issue of The Strad (for their series on influencial instruments).

The second was for the VSA newsletter (due out soon). It's a profile of David Bromberg (His is the host shop for the 2007 convention in Wilmington).

The third is a paper on varnish restoration & retouching that will appear in a book being released on the subject of instrument and bow conservation and restoration (I believe it's scheduled to be complete later this year and released early 2008).

Website design is well under way. Hope to have the new site up next month.

It's amazing how these projects eat up time... but I've enjoyed doing them.

June 9, 2007 at 11:48 PM · it would be interesting to know the opinions here about the differences in playability between Victor and Jules Fetique.


June 10, 2007 at 02:49 PM · Well... I wonder where this will go. Gennady, what have you noticed? You mentioned that you used a strong reliable Victor Fetique at one point.

I think things will depend on which period (Victor's bows developed of course, but from what I've seen, it appears Jules seemed to adapt his style and wood selection to the models produced later in his career that you mentioned) of each maker are compared, etc.

I don't count myself nearly in the same league as you as a player, but I have noticed that J. Fetiques made for Caressa & Francais tend (in general) to be a bit more like Sartorys in handling, but with a brighter tonal cast than V. Fetiques made during the same period for C & F. I've wondered if Jules tended to prefer slightly stiffer, dense sticks during that particular period? I think the problem with any sort of tonal comparison is that the varience is significant with both these makers...

June 10, 2007 at 12:43 AM · Yeah, I do not know the history of the Fetiques, but I do remember that one was a lot stiffer and sort of modern, like Sartory.

Then there are some Fetiques that remind me of nicer older bows. I know that Fred Oster had two Fetique Tourte (octagonal) gold mounted copies. I'm sure they were exquisite bows.

June 10, 2007 at 05:07 AM · The bows of the family Fetique

we will now compare and critique

which ones sound great?

which ones do you hate

because they make you violin go "squeek"?

June 10, 2007 at 05:23 AM · hmmmmmmmm....

Take two: try again!

June 10, 2007 at 02:49 PM · "Take two: try again!"

I'm still interested in hearing if you've noticed any general differences in handling or tonal production between the two makers, Gennady.

June 10, 2007 at 05:19 PM · The best bows of V.F that I have tried are very strong and powerful.

Early on in his career, he was very much influenced by C.Thomassin.

The early bows of J.F. are very similar to Sartory bows, that is visually as well as in handling. I actually prefer his later bows fashioned on the Peccatte model, but that's just me.

June 11, 2007 at 12:07 AM · Thanks Gennady;

Your observations seem similar to my own... except that in comparison between V. Fetique and Thomassin, I don't think of most Thomassin bows as strong and powerful (although some certainly approach that category). I do think of them as refined, however.

For what it's worth, I had a silver/tortoise mounted Peccatte style J. Fetique last year that I was rather fond of... Beautiful bow. More flexible than I'm used to in bows of this maker, but certainly not weak. I like the more Sartory-ish ones as well, however. :-) Just an all-around good maker, I think.

June 14, 2007 at 10:57 AM · Dear Gennady!

While you are analysing french bows, could you be so kind to share if you, or in fact anyone here, ever known anything about bows by Emile Blondelet?

June 19, 2007 at 10:16 PM · I know that he workd a Paris but made violons only.

It is possible some archetier from Mirecourt work for his shop.

June 19, 2007 at 09:44 PM · Thanks, Celine!

Here is also what I did manage to extract about this bows after analysing different auction results: apparently, there are very few of them: one Vln and one Double Bass bow where sold by Sothby's in 1997...

According to the Henley's "Universal Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers",

- BLONDELET, Hues-Emile was born in 1875, joined the firm of Thibouville-Lamy at Mirecourt in 1890., Became co-director there in 1908, died in 1928." Various sellers are claiming that "only the finest of instruments where given his label and brand-stamp".

No word about bows, but the one I've come across is a really fine example of the top-end french bows, so I was just wondering if anyone can at least tell me if they have ever known of any other bows with the stamp "E.BLONDELET" and share your impressions and experiences of them.

Interesting also that his violins up until 1911 inclusive where sighned as "E.Blondelet" (just the same as the bows I've found), while instruments made after 1921 have that well-known labeling "H.Emile Blondelet"

Does it mean that the bows where made before 1912?

June 20, 2007 at 08:07 AM · Olena,

please to tell me, perhaps the name of bow possible E.Boulangeot? If such, a friend tell me that could be L.Morizot (père).

June 21, 2007 at 10:19 PM · Privyet Olena,

very interesting.

If I had seen this sooner, I would have said the same....:)

BTW, anyone have a nice Fetique stick without the original frog?

June 25, 2007 at 04:58 AM · I had a Jules Fetique but exchanged it for a Victor. The Jules drew a nice sound, but was too heavy at the tip for me, like a Sartory. The Victor was lighter and easier to handle. Don't know why I sold it.

July 10, 2007 at 10:45 AM · Dear Celine and Gennady!

Sorry for a long abcence...

I have this bow which is neatly and clearly marked "E.BLONDELET A PARIS", where the script of "A PARIS" is slightly different to the surname, appering in boldish style. It is 63,5 grams (approx).

I would REALLY appreciate any new info. about this bows, so please, help!!!

July 16, 2007 at 11:04 AM · I am new to this site. Have just bought a bow on ebay for little money which is stamped Vtor Fetique a Paris. It is old looking and stamp is upside down on one side in relation to other. The bow looks original as the stamp is even quite faded especially on the side where the thumb goes down. It is also different from my current bow in that it has very little space after the frog only about 3mm. The other bow has considerably more. But this does not seem to affect the balance which despite the bow needing a rehair is equisite. I have heard that Germans faked this bow at around the same time as the real ones were being produced in Paris (this is from the info. on this site written previously). How can you tell whether this bow is the real maccoy or a German fake?

July 16, 2007 at 01:51 PM · Take it to a bowmaker. Don't get your hopes up till after someone's seen it. And if it's a great playing bow and a fake, well, hey, it's still a great playing bow.

July 16, 2007 at 02:08 PM · I had a bow for a month recently that my stand partner was selling for around $9,000, a Fetique.

It drew an exquisite sound of of my violin especially the E string. I gave it to a friend to try and she said it played better than her $24,000 Lamy. Couldn't quite scare up the money in time and someone else grabbed it.

July 16, 2007 at 03:53 PM · I think it is a fake after all. The stamp is faint but not as the pictures I have found on the web. But the shape of the bow and the fact that it has so little space behind the frog is interesting and not altogether typical.It also has what looks like burn marks on the underside of the where the bow bends. Is this a method of making the bow bend?

October 27, 2007 at 01:47 AM · Olena,

I also have a bow marked Blodelet A Paris. It is 61.9g. It is an excellent bow suitable for solo playing. Would you consider sending digital photos to me of your bow for comparison? I would also like to learn more about it.

Chris Johnston

December 3, 2007 at 11:57 PM · Dear Chris!

I will send you photos in a few days.

Cheers, Olena.

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