Ideas on the date, authenticity of an Albert Nurnberger bow

February 4, 2020, 8:57 AM · I have a bow from an estate sale that is marked as an Albert Nurnberger, and I'm looking for some opinions on it. Photos are linked below, and I can make some better ones if necessary.

The bow is missing the screw, and obviously needs to be rehaired. I'm not a violinist so will likely be selling the bow, but I'm a little skeptical about randomly finding an *authentic* bow like this.

Does anyone have any thoughts about checking authenticity before sending it out for evaluation?

I've got several photos up on Google drive; not sure how to get them to display inline, but here's the location showing the set:

I'd appreciate any help I can get!

Replies (12)

Edited: February 4, 2020, 9:37 AM · I have a cello bow stamped ALBERT NURNBERGER which I have presumed to be original (I obtained it in 1949 with my 1877 German cello). There are numbers and something else stamped on the stick under the frog. Some of his screw caps were unique, like mine, which is pure silver with no other decoration, but some small stamp marks that I can no longer decipher. If you do not have the original screw cap this would decrease the value but not the quality of the bow.

The family brand "Albert N├╝rnberger" is reported by Tarisio to have gone into use by many members of the bow-making family in 1920:

If you have it rehaired by a good pro you should be able to learn if it is genuine. It is easy to replace the screw and install an eyelet that will fit it. If you have the original cap it should be possible to have it fitted to the new screw.

February 4, 2020, 10:23 AM · Disclaimer: I'm not an appraiser or instrument expert.
Having said that, I'm a little suspicious of 3 things: the frog, the button, and the fact that the stick is round and not octagonal. I've seen lots of real Nurnbergers, and haven't yet seen a round stick. And I've also seen lots of bows, including modern ones, with a fake Nurnbergers stamp.
February 4, 2020, 4:56 PM · Thanks for the info, both of you.

The screw cap is most likely lost; I found the bow (and a violin marked Raoul Rettberg, that's another story) in a terribly banged up case with a detached lid loosely taped shut.

The issue with the shape is troubling, though. The only part of the bow cut octagonally is the bit right above the frog. From the pad to the tip, the entire stick has a rounded cross section.

It does sound like my best bet is to find someone reputable to give an opinion and rehair it if they believe it is authentic.

Thanks again for the help!

February 4, 2020, 7:13 PM · Round bows are always octagon in the grip area. There MAY be Nurnbergers that are round--I just don't remember seeing any. It depends on which Nurnberger made it if it's authentic. I've never seen one with a plain frog either.

I'm guessing you paid very little for it. Why do you need it authenticated? The tip looks damaged--is it actually cracked and repaired. If you want to sell it, you'll need to put money into it. No one will pay much as is. You'll have to get a new button, rehair, refinish, etc. Few reputable experts will just write a certificate, and if they do, it will cost you dearly because they are risking their reputation. They like to see provenance also. I suppose you could just get an opinion from anyone, but that wouldn't hold water with an experienced buyer.

February 4, 2020, 7:37 PM · Yeah, stick is branded Albert Nurnberger, that is all that can be told from the photos. There are round Nurnbergers, lots of them. You will need to get it in the hands of someone who knows what they are looking at, no one reputable is gonna say too much of anything with photos. Hard to tell if the frog is original. The cheek is blown out on the side of the head and has been repaired poorly; if this is truly a nickel mounted Nurnberger, it's not worth very much with that damage. Not even worth making a nickel button. You don't need a certificate to sell it, but doubt you'll get much over $100 in its current state.
February 4, 2020, 10:42 PM · Maestronet is the best forum for this kind of question.
February 6, 2020, 9:59 AM · Thanks again for the replies. Lydia, thanks for the pointer to Maestronet.

Scott, Anthony: the reason I'm interested in authenticity, as far as it can be determined, is that if it is likely real, I'd rather not simply discard it. Monetary value isn't the only consideration. Even if unusable, it can at least be wall art.

February 6, 2020, 10:02 AM · Anthony,
I did say to discard it--just that trying to authenticate might not be worth the cost. The question is whether it might be a good stick, and you'll have to fix it up to find out. It could end up being just a good spare bow.
You never know.
Edited: February 8, 2020, 9:26 AM · A couple of points. First, the adjuster should be a simple one-piece octagonal silver cap. On your bow it has come disconnected and slid off, and what you see there is the remaining ebony core that's usually hidden under the silver.

Second, the metal is nickel-silver (a white brass), not silver, which is used only on cheap bows, and the bow is lacking pearl eyes, another indication of lower quality.

Also I believe that the better Nurnbergers have a star either before or after the brand, but I'm not a bow guy, so I might be remembering wrong. The head photos are not good enough to tell anything from.

Anyway, if that's the original frog (can't tell from the pix) this is a very low level factory Nurnberger if it is one at all. I suspect making a copy adjuster would be a waste of money, and putting in a replacement isn't going to help the value any, so you're kind of stuck with kindling as far as many shops would be concerned unless they have time and inclination to help this kind of orphan.

Some actually would, but this bow is not going to make you rich.

February 12, 2020, 5:32 PM · I think that i might have a bastard Nurnburger frog of the silver type floating around somewhere...
February 12, 2020, 7:35 PM · Nickel mount is on a cheaper stick, putting a silver frog on a cheap stick does not make it any better unless your intention is to deceive someone.
February 13, 2020, 1:13 PM · Oh Lyndon...

yes, I know.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha YVN Model 3
Yamaha YVN Model 3

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases


Aria International Summer Academy

Meadowmount School of Music

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine