But living in the desert 25 to 58 years ago I did see bows break in an air conditioned rehearsal hall. The humidity change from a home with evaporative cooling (>50% RH) and a refrigerated air conditioned room (possibly as low as 5%RH some days) was sufficient to shorten the hair enough to break some bow sticks. I could see the effect on my own bows in my case the next day after having loosened the hair before casing the bows enough to just touch the stick after the rehearsals. The next day the hair would be hanging below the stick.
It goes without saying that the public school teacher is not a string player. Fortunately, it was not a "good" bow and I got his parents to replace it with fiberglass.
Here, with Sinatra ...
Hide your bow from sight.
Lock your case at night ...
Oh God, that's fun.
I'll never understand bows. Individually their value apparently lies in what they are rather than how well they play. What they are largely means who made them, and even "very fine" anonymous workmanship (that I wouldn't be able to distinguish from "pretty good") doesn't butter many parsnips. At the end of the day they're just a whittled stick. Then one snap and they're virtually worthless, no matter how well they still play.
"Anonymous" work will rarely be valued in this price region, if it isn't attributed by one of the very few reputable experts in the field. And I didn't talk about an anonymous bow appraised by the seller. German bows in this league will usually have something to do with the names Bausch, Knopf, Pfretzschner, or the higher end Schmidt bows to add a contemporary maker.
Lesser bows were made in all periods, but due to a number of reasons access to highest quality pernambuco wood has become harder and harder in the last several decades. On the other hand, a good maker will be able to produce consistent quality and leave his personal handwriting not only in the outer appearance, but also in playing characteristics. Knowing a larger number of this makers bows, I have no reason to doubt that this one was the real thing, repaired or not - although I'm totally aware that 95% of all bows with a HR Pfretzschner stamp are fake.
But this would be material for another thread... Question is, rely on a repaired stick? I'm not a professional but only an enthusiast. I love how it reacts, and how it fits my violin soundwise. It's not absolutely necessary to have it since there are at least three bows in my "collection" that are of equivalent qualities, but this one adds some additional warmth and beauty and might become my favorite. For a small amount of money. But still not an easy decision - you'll never know when the repair will come loose... So I appreciate others opinions and experiences.
Then one day I was practising and my bow snapped. As I was planning to take my fiddle on holiday the next day, we screamed up to our local music shop. The luthier sold me another cheap bow, but rebuked me very solemnly about what had happened - I did feel ashamed..
He told me that I should put my violin teacher in his place if he gave me such advice again - 'after all, he's young enough to be your son!'.
I well remember the shock when the bow broke - it was like a mini-explosion.
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