Ifshin Violins
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!

From $3,000 to $5,000

Charles Bazin

Charles Bazin

Several examples. 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. They represent an excellent value in a classic French bow.

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 gold-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

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 benefitted 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. At 63.6 g this bow is at once heavy and well balanced, a good strong bow in new condition.

Albert 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 Nurnberger 18814in the late 19th century, widely recognized as the standard bearers of German bow making.

In 1890, Albert Nürnberger Jr. (b. 1854-d.1933) started branding their bows in order to make a name for the family workshop. Their workshop had already been producing fine bows for several decades, mostly supplying bows to other shops anonymously. By signing their works, they built up their business and established their reputation. This early stamp, in a font sans serif, was later changed to a font with serifs in 1910 before ultimately settling on their most widelyNurnberger 17287 used stamp, *ALBERT NÜRNBERGER*, in 1920.

With the stamp in use, the family expanded the business, wining a gold prize in Berlin, 1906, and silver prize in Leipzig, 1910. Their remarkable ability to quickly produce fine bows is due in part to the assistance of Nürnberger Jr.’s sons, Phillip Paul Nürnberger (b. 1882- d.1946), and the renowned Carl Albert Nürnberger (b. 1885- d.1971), Nurnberger 8522who worked with their meticulous father. They also trained some of Germany’s best bowmakers, including August Rao. With several excellent bowmakers working together, they were able to supply such demanding dealers as Hammig and Weichold, as well as the thriving market in the United States. After Carl Albert Nürnberger took over the shop, many of the world’s greatest concert artists, including David Oistrakh, owned and regularly performed on a Nürnberger.

We currently have several examples from the Nürnberger family, dating back to 1910. These classic examples have 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. These bows are ideal for musicians of any level, and collectors who appreciate the highest level of German bowmaking.

R.L. Steenbergen

R.L. Steenbergen

Sacramento gold/ebony. Steenburgen won gold medals for his violin, viola, and cello bows at the 1986 Violin Society of America competition, and was declared Hors Concours. He continued making bows in Carmichael, CA until his passing. His bows are consistently good and have been sought after by California's best musicians for decades. This bow is typical of his best work: Well balanced, strong and nimble, it is an excellent bow for any demanding violinist.

Gustav Prager

Gustav Prager

Highly sought after during his lifetime, his bows were used in concert by such great violinists as Jan Kubelik, among others. Gustav Prager studied with his father before setting up on his own in 1893. His workmanship is crisp and clean and his bows are consistently strong and clear in tone. Both examples are in near mint condition and have superb playing characteristics. They are lively and vibrant and easy to handle at any point on the stick.

Hermann Prell

Hermann Prell

Prell's bona fides include working for the great German masters Albert Nurnberger (1893-1895), and with August Rau (1896), before working with the venerable Eugene Sartory (1897-1898). He established his own shop in his native Markneukirchen in 1898. Prell died in 1925 at the age of 50.

François Lotte

Several examples. After training with and working for C.N. Bazin in Mirecourt until 1921, Lotte worked for Cuniot-Hury until 1925. He married into the Ouchard family in 1919, and was the brother-in-law of Emile A. Ouchard. He trained several workers including LaPierre, Mangenot, and his son, Roger. His bows are of a consistently good quality, frequently using excellent wood. These bows date from different working periods, but demonstrate the consistently high playing qualities of his bows.

C.N.Bazin

C.N.Bazin

Mirecourt (unstamped nickel mounted). Charles Nicolas Bazin was one of the most important bow makers from Mirecourt in the last two centuries. Apart from being a great craftsman, he was also a great teacher and businessman, running a very efficient workshop that supplied bows of high quality to many shops in Paris and beyond. For this reason, his bows are frequently unbranded. This bow represents an excellent value because it is nickel mounted and has a small repair at the tip. The bow is perfectly balanced and pulls the sweet sound typical of his bows.

Alysio de Mattos

Alysio de Mattos

One of the best Brazilian bowmakers on the market, De Mattos studied with Christian Barthe in Paris before returning to his native Rio De Janeiro. In essence a French bowmaker, he draws up a new head model with each bow. This bow is perfect for any musician seeking a fantastic bow at a reasonable price

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.

Johannes Paulus

Johannes Paulus

Johannes Paulus first trained in the C.A. Schuster workshop in the early 1930s. He continued working in the Schuster shop after Schuster died in 1946, working closely with his father, Otto Paulus. In 1955, after taking over the Schuster workshop, he began branding his bows with his name. This bow is in mint condition and is exemplary of post WWII German making. The workmanship is exceptionally clean, and the bow would be an efficient tool for any violinist.

Garner Wilson

Garner Wilson

Wilson joined the Hills at the age of 16, where he apprenticed with Hill stalwarts Bultitude and Watson before working with Malcom Taylor. Wilson stayed with the Hills for 6 years, before setting up on his own, in 1966. With his superb early training, Wilson was very successful right up to his death in 2013. This bow is characteristic of his work, drawing a precise tone with rich power.

Eric Gagne

Eric Gagne

Montreal. One of the exciting young archetiers, Gagne began his studies with Blaise Emmelin before working with Pierre Guillaume in Brussels, Belgium. He has won numerous awards for his work, most recently in 2016 at the VSA for a viola and cello bow. This elegant bow draws a dark, smooth sound.

Arthur Thoma

Arthur Thoma

Hohendorf. Like so many of his peers, Arthur Thoma came from a long line of bowmakers, including his grandfather, Hermann. Arthur learned the craft together with his brother, Albert, in their father’s shop. Arthur set up on his own in 1931, where he branded bows with his own name, earning a fair amount of fame. This is a good playing bow, drawing a sweet and clear tone.

Paul Schubert

Paul Schubert

Schubert-18388-bow Markneukirchen. From one of the oldest bowmaking families in Markneukirchen, Paul Schubert worked in the W.A. Pfretzchner workshop with his father, August. He also worked with August Nürnberger-Süss until 1912. The next year Schubert established his own workshop in Markneukirchen, working prolifically until he died in 1961. Apart from Nürnberger-Süss in Marin County, Schubert’s primary contact in the Bay Area was his cousin, Richard Schubert, an esteemed violin maker who established his shop on Post Street, in San Francisco, in 1910. Schubert’s bows were imported to San Francisco and sold, with much success, to the area’s musicians. His bows are characterized by their detailed workmanship and their consistent playing quality. We currently have two fine examples.

David Forbes

David Forbes

Dodd Copy

Roger Treat

Roger Treat

Since 1996 Treat has been making and repairing bows. He studied with Lynn Hannings and George Rubino at the University of New Hampshire, later studying with Rodney Mohr and Jerry Pasewicz at Oberlin College. His bows are a great value for their quality. This bow is sensitive, strong, and articulate.

Werner Uebel

Werner Uebel

Markneukirchen. Uebel spent his early years working anonymously, producing student grade bows. In the early 1950s he set up his shop in Markneukirchen, steadily improving the quality of his bows. He worked closely with musicians, culminating in a silver medal in 1969. This bow is in superb condition from the mid 1950s, demonstrating his technical mastery of the craft.

John W. Stagg

John W. Stagg

Bristol, England. One of the last bow makers employed at Hill, Stagg attained a high level of craftsmanship after 6 years with the firm before setting up on his own in 1983. Since setting up on his own he has solidified his sterling reputation and is the author of a detailed expose on bowmaking. This bow is big and strong, yet subtle and nuanced.

August Rau branded R.Weichold-Dresden

August Rau branded R.Weichold-Dresden

Without a doubt one of the greatest German bogenbauer, Rau set up on his own in 1890 after studying with the Nürnberger family and Wilhelm Knopf. He had a long working career, -over 60 years- and always maintained the highest standards of workmanship. Early in his career he worked for the Weichold shop and continued supplying bows for the Weichold firm until 1915. This bow exemplifies the bows he supplied to Weichold, and is in very good condition. A good playing nickel mounted bow, it represents a good value for any violinist.

Max Penzel branded Arnold Voigt

Max Penzel branded Arnold Voigt

After training with the Pfretzschner workshop in the early years of 1900, Penzel established his own shop in Erlbach. His reputation as a fine artist grew rapidly, and he trained several bow makers, among them Kurt Dölling and Willy Eichler. This bow is Penzel's own "Lupot model," a model he championed throughout his career. Interestingly enough, this bow is branded Arnold Voigt, showing a clear business relationship between Voigt, a violin and bowmaker, and Penzel. This bow is strong, nimble, and responsive.