Bow selection +Ironwood Bow

March 11, 2023, 6:21 AM · What's your opinion on ironwood bows?

I'm debating between two bows on the $500 - $1000 range.

One of them is a french pernambuco bow from the xix century with a slight twist at the tip, which makes it belong to this price range. ($600)

The other one is an ironwood bow from the xix century with no visible defect. ($800)

The twist from the first one may not be fixed, as trying to bend it with fire would be a very risky operation in this case.

Replies (6)

Edited: March 11, 2023, 7:04 AM · I have a Dodd bow from ironwood that is wonderful. But it is a 1790 transitional model, not quite what people ask for when they need a single bow. In fact, non standard wood can knock half the value off a good bow.

These aren’t being priced for collectors, though, so best try this one to see how it feels and sounds. If you like it, the price can’t be beat.

Edited: March 17, 2023, 10:40 AM ·

There are two criteria by which I evaluate a bow. One is how it sounds on my particular violin, and the second is how the bow handles. Both are important, especially the former.

So, I wouldn't purchase any bow without having the opportunity to try it first.

March 17, 2023, 11:45 AM · Even in the bow world, 'ironwood' can mean a number of different species. Ironwood bows can be great, it all depends on the particular piece of wood and how it was used. Buy the one that works best for you and your violin.
March 18, 2023, 12:37 PM · As Andres said, better check exactly what they mean by 'ironwood'

Edited: March 18, 2023, 5:21 PM · I own an ironwood bow by Nicolas Maire who was one of the greatest French bow makers of the 19th century in my opinion - on par with the Peccattes. Awesome bow. It’s a little heavier and in terms of appearance is darker in color than pernambuco. This particular bow I feel is great for solo Bach especially. It draws a lovely sound.
March 19, 2023, 12:19 AM · Any twisted bow is a risk. (How did it end up that way?) $600 is near the very bottom range of pernambuco bows. Might not be any lower simply because it’s pernambuco. Where are you buying from?

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