Is it a real Nurnberger?

Edited: January 6, 2019, 8:36 PM · I am trying to buy a bow from a prominent violin shop. They sell it as a "Nurnberger" bow. I saw a lot of Nurnberger bows but I never seen the stamp to be done this way. Plays amazing though... Here is the link to the all the pics:

Here is links for some separate pics:

You will still need to copy and paste them in order to see.

Please let me know what you think.

Thanks a bunch.

Replies (13)

January 6, 2019, 8:16 PM · your link doesn't work
January 6, 2019, 8:26 PM · You need to copy it and paste in the browser address. Save, unzip the file and view all pics. I have 11 pics there.
January 7, 2019, 10:48 AM · Just be aware that if you copy and paste, the link will attempt to download the pics. My MacAfee stopped it.
January 7, 2019, 6:08 PM · I promise there is no virus neither in .ZIP, nor in .JPG files. Trust me, I am just a violinist not a bad person who dreams to input a virus on your PC. Promise...
January 7, 2019, 6:31 PM · You can post the pics on Imgur. Or Google drive. There are 10,000 ways to post something without requiring a download.

To anyone reading this: You shouldn't download files from strangers. Even if they tell you to trust them.

Edited: January 8, 2019, 6:20 PM · Prices for "Nürnberger bows continue to be all over the map. The auction record of over $10,000 was achieved in 2007 and not reached since. Acorcing to Tarisio (the auction house):

"Throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries, the Nürnberger family workshop produced a great number of high-quality bows, many on the firm's signature Tourte model. The traditional family brand, which went into use around 1920, is "*Albert Nürnberger*" and was used by various makers of the family, including Franz Albert Jr., his son Carl Albert, grandson Karl Albert, and great-grandson Christian Albert. Bows by these makers can be distinguished from one another with the requisite expertise, but in instances when a specific attribution is not possible, they may be described as by the Nürnberger family or workshop, or by Albert Nürnberger."


So, having a bow labeled "Albert Nürnberger," you still don't know who actually made it. One of my cello bows is still stamped very clearly "Albert Nürnberger." It came to me in 1949 from somne's attic with my 1877 cello. I heve every reason to believe the bow and cello were together at a Baltimore luthier's shop in 1929. The bow is stamped 1896 under the frog - that could be a date or a product number of some sort.

Based on the wide price range Nürnberger bows have achieved the price must be based on the quality of the bow itself.

January 7, 2019, 7:04 PM · I saw the pictures perfectly well. Frankly, the brand is too worn to see.
How much are they asking? For a real gold-mounted Nurnberger, I'd imagine a price in the $6-$9k range in the US. So it really comes down to whether you trust the dealer and whether you like the bow.
Nurnbergers seem to vary somewhat with respect to finish and frog design. Some are very dark in color, and some lighter brown like this one. Most seem to have a Parisian eye--this one has a simple mother of pearl dot.

So who knows?

Edited: January 7, 2019, 7:27 PM · They ask $4,000 with no certificate. Under the strong magnification you can clearly see ...RGER. Now it's clear that if it is NURNBERGER there is no space for the ALBERT there or for the asterisks around it. So I guess the question is: have anybody seen a bow labeled only with one word "NURNBERGER"? Also the label is upside down comparing to the regular *ALBERT NURNBERGER* label. Has anyone seen that?

I got also H. R. Pfretzschner bow for the trial ($4,500) unbranded but with the certificate. It's my second day trying them. Yesterday Nurnberger was on top and today Pfretzschner was the absolute winner. Will see what tomorrow will bring.

Edited: January 7, 2019, 7:55 PM · Thanks so much guys for you responses! Every little thing helps. Here is the link to Imgur where I posted pics as well:

Now, Pfretzschner is also a beautiful piece of art, thinner, one gram lighter then Nurnberger. It has a little narrower sound, but the clarity is so immense that it makes you talk about the incomparable sophistication in the timbre, while Nurnberger having a one millimeter wider opening for the hair in the bow head, and as a result more hair surface to use, produces the fuller sound but less focused. Unbelievable...

January 7, 2019, 9:28 PM · I just want to gently point out that when you view pictures anywhere on the Internet, period, the pictures are still downloaded onto your computer. They usually get stored in the cache directory for your web browser.
January 8, 2019, 11:14 AM · "They ask $4,000 with no certificate. Under the strong magnification you can clearly see ...RGER"

AR, you said it was a "prominent" violin shop? The price reflects the fact that they won't provide a certificate. And it may be a consignment, so they are essentially selling "as is." And that's perfectly fine.
Forget about the fact that it may or may not be a Nurnberger. You'd never be able to prove it, you can't sell it as such, and it doesn't matter. All it is is a "fine old gold-mounted bow," and $4000 isn't that much.
You may be able to tell if it's German by looking at whether and how the frog is pinned together, but that assumes the frog is original.

Only the playing traits and sound relative to whatever else you can get in that price range are relevant, and whether you can trade it in later if desired.

Sounds like you have two very good bow options. However, I would not assume that sound differences are a result of more hair in the bow head. I'll bet if you equalized the precise number of hairs it would have the same characteristics. More likely a function of the wood. Personally, I would go for clarity and ability to articulate, especially at the tip. I have had many bows, and while a certain "fullness" is nice, in the end a lack of clarity may prove very frustrating. In lower-priced instruments, whether violin or bow, one must typically chose between fullness (more overtones) and clarity. You rarely get both until you shell out lots of $$. Go with clarity first.

January 8, 2019, 5:06 PM · Thanks so much Cole! Pfretzschner with it sound purity is definitely my preference now. What a great bow! Here are the link to the pics if you would like to see:

The frog might be not original since it has gold and the bow winding is silver... But I don't really care about it, maybe just a reason to negotiate price. What do you think?

January 8, 2019, 5:31 PM · try posting on you'll get more informed opinions there I would think

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