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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Help identifying an old German fiddle bow

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rick20040 - Posted - 01/31/2021:  16:57:28

Hi everyone, thanks for your help, time, advice in advance. It is greatly appreciated. I inherited an old Fiddle bow and I cannot find another example online of the metal tip. Was wondering if it’s a repair procedure of some kind or a type of bow tip not used very long. The bow is 28.75”, 58 grams, marked GERMAN by the frog, is a round bow except it is octagonal at the frog end. A ballpark value would also be greatly appreciated. Please let me know if I posted this in the wrong forum. Thanks!!

Edited by - rick20040 on 01/31/2021 16:59:44

GeorgeH - Posted - 01/31/2021:  17:29:40


Sorry, it is a make-shift repair and the bow is essentially worthless, but it was an inexpensive trade bow to start with.

Anytime there is damage near the back of the head or the head breaks off, it requires a spline to repair it properly, and it is only worth doing that repair if it is a valuable bow. Even then, a bow with a spline is seriously devalued, and often times even a spine won't hold.

Sorry I don't have better news for you.

rick20040 - Posted - 01/31/2021:  18:04:40

I am not surprised by what you say. I really appreciate your time and knowledge. I have 10-15 bows that appear to have some value. For someone like me that has no knowledge of bows do you think eBay is my best bet to sell them by letting the market decide their value? Thx Rick

GeorgeH - Posted - 02/01/2021:  03:51:00

I'd recommend getting them looked at by a professional appraiser or bow maker to determine condition and potential value. Bows can have damage that inexperienced people won't see or even know to look for. Plus, determining if a brand stamp is real or the origin of the bow is something most people cannot do.

If you decide to go the eBay route, learn how to photograph and describe a bow properly if you want to attract willing and knowledgeable buyers. Selling bows on eBay is hard because people are understandably afraid of fakes, unseen damage, or bows that perform poorly. (For musicians, bows are pretty personal things, often even more than violins, so they are hard to sell when buyers can't try them.)

Finally, understand that bow repairs are expensive, and can easily make a bow economically worthless. Combining a re-hair with common repairs such as replacing the lapping, replacing a tip plate, and re-cambering a bow can cost more than the bow is worth.

Feel free to message me if you'd like to discuss individual bows and/or how to take pictures of them.

Edited by - GeorgeH on 02/01/2021 03:51:43

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