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!

More than 5,000

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.