Ifshin Violins
The Ifshin Collection
of Fine Viola Bows
Rare & Fine Instruments

The Ifshin Collection of Fine Bows

Over the years, Jay Ifshin has acquired many fine bows from the most skilled contemporary makers and has kept some of the best for his personal collection. He has recently put several particularly nice bows from his collection on sale. This in addition to an already spectacular selection of fine bows makes now an excellent time to upgrade your bow!

Jules Fetique

Jules Fetique

Together with Eugene Sartory, Jules Fetique is considered to be the height of 20th century French bowmaking. Indeed, after studying with C.N. Bazin, Jules worked for Sartory for about 30 years. Jules also worked for the firms Caressa & Francais, Albert Caressa, and his brother, Victor Fetique, among others. Because his work was consistently excellent throughout his career, the French government awarded him with the title, "Un des meilleurs ouvriers de France" in 1927, the highest award for craftsmen. He worked on his own from 1934 until his death in 1951, always maintaining his superb quality. This viola is in mint condition, and is an excellent example of his work. At 66.3 grams, it is nimble and strong, drawing a rich viola tone any instrument.

Jean-Jacques Millant

Jean-Jacques Millant

One of the finest archetiers after World War II, Jean-Jacques Millant studied with the Morizot family from 1946-1948 before working with his father and uncle, Roger and Max Millant. Setting up on his own in 1950, Millant developed a fine reputation, eventually being awarded the title of "One of the Best Craftsmen of France" in 1970. Weighing 66.3 g, this bow is of dense wood. It is strong and nuanced in how it handles, perfect for the wide technical demands of viola soloists. It is accompanied by a Raffin certificate.

Morizot Freres branded Conet a Lyon

Morizot Freres branded Conet a Lyon

The Morizot brothers were remarkably productive, able to make 5 or 6 bows of good quality a day. The five brothers were all trained by their father, Louis Morizot Sr., a student of the great Eugene Sartory. Around 1937 the sons took over control of the workshop, still working alongside their father. The five brothers worked in an assembly line style, wherein the tasks of roughing out the sticks, making the frogs, finishing and cambering the sticks, were all divided equally. They made bows for various violin makers throughout France and beyond, and many of their bows are branded with the names of these dealer makers. This bow is branded Conet, who was the most important maker in Lyon. Made around 1950, at the height of their abilities, the bow is strong and balanced. It is accompanied by a Millant certificate from 2005.

Morgan Andersen

Morgan Andersen

Check out our article on this important maker. Many fine examples both gold and silver mounted.

The bow pictured here is one of the fine silver-mounted bows we have available.

Morgan won top prize for his violin bow in the prestigious instrument and bow making competition in Paris: The 2011 "Councours de Lutherie Etienne Vatelot". 

W.D. Watson

W.D. Watson

London

One of the first apprentices hired by the Hill family after WWII, Watson started in the case making department before the renowned Bultitude transferred him to the bowmaking department. Once there, he started a 6 year apprenticeship under the great William Retford. This close working relationship benefited Watson immensely, becoming one of the best bowmakers at Hill & Sons. In 1962, already the senior bowmaker at Hill, Watson resigned because of a payment dispute, and set up on his own. He continued to make bows until the end of his life. This is a good example of his highest level work: Engraved gold on a special frog, emblazoned with his characteristic gold crown. Made in 1968 and previously owned by a prominent San Francisco Symphony violist, this bow possesses excellent playing characteristics.

Walter Barbiero

Walter Barbiero

Barbiero18788 Originally trained as a violist, Barbiero's passion for woodworking led him into bow making. One of the few Italian bow makers of great reputation, he has trained with such masters like Christian Barthe, Nelly Poidevin and Alfredo Clemente. He has also made bows for some of the most important musicians of our day. These bows were made for the VSA competitions of 2014 and 2016, and are robust and vibrant, drawing a clear, ringing tone.

W.E. Hill & Sons

W.E. Hill & Sons

For over 100 years, W.E. Hill & Sons was synonymous with superb quality. Between the World Wars, the Hill shop ramped up production and made thousands of excellent bows, solidifying their reputation as the standard bearers of English bowmaking. Between the World Wars they had several fine craftsmen working in assembly, wherein one maker would frequently make the frog, and another, the stick. This bow is no exception. Brought to the Hill sales room in 1929, the stick and frog were made by different makers. By dividing the labor in this manner, the Hill's could ensure rapid production while maintaining the highest quality. This bow is light in the hand, yet strong on the string, perfect for the demanding repertoire of the modern violist.

J.B.Aniano

J.B.Aniano

New York. Beginning on his own in 1978, Aniano continued studying bowmaking with William Salchow in the early 1980s. Since 2002 he has worked with the renowned Yung Chin, whom Aniano considers his principal teacher and mentor. He won prizes at the VSA, including gold medal for a cello bow in 2006 and a viola bow in 2010. This bow is his personal model, inspired by Pajeot. The stick is flexible and strong and draws a clean and focused tone.

Douglas Raguse

Douglas Raguse

Cedar, Michigan. One of the best American bowmakers, Raguse has made over 1100 bows. He studied with Lloyd Liu and Bill Salchow before setting up on his own in Chicago, and later in Michigan. He has won a dozen awards at various competitions, including gold medal at the VSA in 1980. This bow is a fine example of Raguse's work.

Hermann Prell - branded R. Weichold

Hermann Prell - branded R. Weichold
Dresden. From 1851, When Friederich August Weichold was granted the title, "Instrument Maker to the Court of Saxony," until the shop closed its doors after the 1945 allied bombing of Dresden, Weichold bows were synonymous with high quality. They had fine makers in their own workshop in addition to the bows they acquired from Germany's best makers, most notably, the Nürnberger family. This bow was made in the early part of the 20th century, after the shop adopted the trademark "RW" with the arrow through it. At 66.2 grams it is a light viola bow, yet it retains all the strength and agility of a fine viola bow. The stick is lively, and it is remarkably easy to play.

John Clutterbuck

John Clutterbuck

One of the bowmakers trained at Hills after World War II, Clutterbuck began his training at the age of 15 making cases. He later switched to bowmaking together with Garner Wilson under Malcom Taylor. He left in 1971, after about 6 years, and set up a shop in partnership with Stephen Bristow, another ex-Hill bowmaker. This bow is light in the hand and quite strong, drawing a characteristically smooth, bold tone.

Nürnberger

The Nürnberger family worked in close concert with each other to fashion some of the finest bows in Germany. They maintained a high level of artistry over the course of their prolific oeuvre, frequently working on the Tourte model. With luthiers in the family dating back to the early 18th century, the Nürnbergers flourished as bowmakers beginning in the late 19th century, widely recognized as the standard bearers of German bow making. This bow was made c. 1910 and has all the features that made their bows so popular for much of the 20th century- the workmanship is near perfect, the balance superb and the tone rich.

Charles Bazin

Charles Bazin

Son of Louis Bazin, and grandson of the extremely influential Charles Nicholas Bazin, Charles Bazin was one of the most important bow makers of the mid- 20th century. He was active in bowmaking by the age of 15, opening his own shop shortly after World War II. He had only one assistant, and made bows of fine quality for clients throughout France, the United States, and beyond. His bows are strong yet sweet, bridging the gap between the old tradition and new school of French bowmaking. This bow represents an excellent value in a classic French bow.

Monique Poullot

Monique Poullot

Several examples. For the past decade we have been the exclusive representatives of Monique Poullot’s bows in the United States. Her training can be traced back to the bow making school in Mirecourt run by Bernard Ouchard, as her first teacher was a graduate of the program. Well steeped in the traditional methods of the great French school, she has continued perfecting her craft with such masters as the renowned Stephane Tomachot. These bows are a great value for the price. Her wood selection is first rate, consistently rich in tonal properties and flexible across the strings. Her bows are excellent for any player looking for a good, modern French bow at an affordable price.

Read here more information on Monique and Jacques Poullot.

Rudolf Neudörfer

Rudolf Neudörfer

From a long line of bowmakers living in Schönbach/Luby, Rudolf studied in the state run technical and business schools before emigrating to West Germany in 1964. He eventually worked with Siegfried Finkel until 1973, when he set up on his own in Bubenreuth. In the 1980s he won several prizes at competitions, including the VSA and Wiesbaden.

H.R. Pfretzschner

H.R. Pfretzschner

John Norwood Lee

Chicago 

Less than $2,000

Jay Haide, J.H., J. Keller, D. Chagas, C. Lozer, John Brasil, Emile Richaud, Ary France, V. Schaeffer, J.P. Gabriel, Pfretzschner, Finkel Shop, John Bolander

Read more about affordable viola bows under $1000.

Carbon Fiber Bows

Jay Haide - 4 models

CodaBow: Diamond Gx, Sx & Nx, and Prodigy.