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!

More than $10,000

E.Sartory a Paris

E.Sartory a Paris

Sartory is arguably the greatest bowmaker of the 20th century. He began his training with Charles Peccatte, later working with Alfred Lamy, who greatly inspired his work. Sartory set up on his own in 1889, having already established a reputation as an excellent maker among his peers. Even before World War I, his reputation had grown so much that he hired several assistants, including Hermann Prell and Otto Hoyer. After the Great War he hired such fine archetiers as Jules Fetique, Louis Morizot, and Louis Gillet. With the help of such fine assistants, he was able produce bows to satisfy the ever growing demand for his work, always finishing and perfecting the bows personally. This bow is a particularly fresh example of his later work. Strong and well balanced, it draws a clear and rich tone, ideal for any professional musician.

John Dodd

John Dodd

We are very pleased to offer this superlative bow from one of the first great English bowmakes on record. Surprisingly, John Dodd was originally trained as a gun-lock fitter. Later, constructing scales for money, he used his fine skills in detailed engineering in constructing bows for the violin family. Of the same generation as the unparalleled F.X. Tourte, Dodd’s bows are slightly shorter in length, but still earned him the nickname “The English Tourte.” Despite his excellent workmanship and superb quality, Dodd struggled financially his whole life and died in penury in 1839. This bow is one of his later works, more modern in style than his earlier Baroque and Cramer styles with their open trenched frogs. This bow is in excellent condition and has all the qualities of a fine old bow: rich sound, multi-layered in tone color, classic feel. This would be an excellent part of a collection, as it would be for a professional violinist.

E.Sartory a Paris

E.Sartory a Paris

Sartory is generally considered the best bow maker of the first decades of the 20th century and his work is highly sought after. This beautiful and elegant bow probably dates from the beginning of the century.

Francois Lupot

Francois Lupot

We are pleased offer this fine bow by the influential Francois Lupot. One of the earliest innovators of the bow, Lupot was the brother of Nicolas Lupot, the first “modern” French violin maker, and one of the finest French luthiers ever. Francois eventually moved to Paris where he likely worked with Leonard Tourte, and, like all aspiring archetiers of the time, was heavily influenced by the great F.X. Tourte. Lupot made a name for himself, later inventing the metal slide that protects the frog. He also trained Lafleur and Dominique Peccatte, eventually turning his shop over to Peccatte in 1838. This stick is a classic example of Lupot’s finest work. Fashioned from a choice piece of pernambuco, this bow is rich and nuanced in tone. It is in excellent condition and is ideal for a collector or professional.

Jean Joseph Martin, branded Chanot

Jean Joseph Martin, branded Chanot

Paris. Martin was an archetier of great skill whose production was of high quality right up until his death in 1910, at the age of 73. After serving an apprenticeship in his native Mirecourt, he moved to Paris where he worked for Vuillaume, going on to be one of the firm’s great makers. He established his own workshop in the early 1860s. Although he was one of the best Parisian bowmakers of his time, he mostly made bows for other firms. This bow, branded Chanot, is a fine example of his work and is accompanied by a Raffin certificate.

Hippolyte Camille Lamy

Hippolyte Camille Lamy

Paris. Hippolyte Camille Lamy was the son and successor to his father Joseph Alfred Lamy. His training began at the age of 15 with his father, and ended after five years, in 1895, when he began assisting his father. After World War I he took over the family workshop and continued making bows in family tradition. Much of his work is quite similar to that of his father’s, and his best work, like this example, is almost indistinguishable from his father’s. This bow is in superb condition, still bearing the original wrapping. It is articulate and vibrant, and represents an excellent value for the professional violinist, as it would for a collector.

Victor Fetique

Victor Fetique

Paris. Fetique 19040Several examples. Victor Fetique was an exceptionally talented bowmaker, and winner of the coveted prize, “One of the Best Crafsmen of France”. Originally from Mirecourt, he apprenticed with the Husson family and Charles Nicolas Bazin, before working with the newly opened Parisian firm, Caressa & Francais, in 1901. While there he worked side by side with another great archetier, Claude Thomassin. 

By 1913 he set up his own shop and before long started supplying large numbers of bows to the musical community of Paris, and beyond. His best work was made personally, with the assistance of great makers such as his younger brother, Jules Fetique. He trained or hired bowmakers such as his son, Marcel Fetique, Paul Weidhaas, Louis Morizot Sr., and Andre Richaume. Because of his dependable quality, his bows are in high demand by top level musicians. His bows are characterized by their unwavering strength and flexibility, at once clear in tone and rich with color. They are consistently easy to play, handling the versatile technical demands of concert musicians.

We are delighted to have an unusually large selection of his bows, some of which are in mint condition with the original wrapping. They exemplify all the playing qualities that have given Victor Fetique his great reputation.

Justin Poirson

Justin Poirson

Paris. The son of a winegrower, Poirson studied with Nicolas Maire before working for Vuillaume in about 1870 and later. After Vuillaume died in 1875 he worked for the important Parisian firm, Gand and Bernardel. He set up on his own in 1879. His later bows were sometimes heavy in nature but always reflect his early training. He was murdered at the age of 74 while living in miserable conditions in the outskirts of Paris. This bow is one of the finer bows he produced. It is in excellent condition and is accompanied by a Raffin certificate.

Emile A.Ouchard

Emile A.Ouchard

Paris, 1945. One of the greatest makers of the 20th Century, Emile A. Ouchard began his training at 13 years of age with his father in the Cuniot-Hury workshop. He set up his own shop in Paris in 1940. This bow was made in 1945, at the height of his ability, and is a characteristic example of his style in every way. This bow was purchased directly from Ouchard in Paris in 1945 by the only prior owner. It pulls a robust and rich tone from any instrument and is perfectly balanced.

Emile A. Ouchard

Emile A. Ouchard

Paris

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. Around 1980 he only made bows mounted in ebony and gold. This collector's quality bow is in mint condition, having been purchased directly from the maker in the early 1990s and is accompanied by the original bill of sale.

Branded Gustave Bernardel (by C. Thomassin)

Branded Gustave Bernardel (by C. Thomassin)

One of the most important bow makers of his generation, Claude Thomassin studied with C.N. Bazin in Mirecourt before going to work for Gand and Bernardel around 1885, at the age of 20. Because much of his production was sent to dealers, many of his bows are branded with shop names such as Gand & Bernardel or Gustave Bernardel. This bow was made between the years 1892 and 1901 when he supplied bows to Gustave Bernardel. It is a classic example of his work during this period and handles nimbly while drawing a clear, rich sound.

Claude Thomassin

Claude Thomassin

Paris, stamped Caressa & Francais and Gustave Bernardel on opposite sides.

After working for Gustave Bernardel from 1892-1901, Thomassin set up his own shop where he began making bows with his own stamp. This bow was likely made for Gustave Bernardel around 1901, shortly before Caressa & Francais bought them out. Because the shop had a significant inventory, the new owners branded the bows with the new stamp. It is an excellent playing sick, with dense, lively wood.

Justin Poirson

Justin Poirson

Paris. The son of a winegrower, Poirson studied with Nicolas Maire before working for Vuillaume beginning around 1870. After Vuillaume died in 1875 he worked for the important Parisian firm, Gand and Bernardel. With a good reputation firmly established, he set up on his own in 1879. He made excellent bows for many years, before passing away in squalid conditions in the outskirts of Paris. Our collection of Poirson bows highlights his varied style and consistently fine workmanship. All the bows are strong and responsive, and represent a good value for an old French bow.

Marcel Fetique

Marcel Fetique

Son and student of Victor Fetique, Marcel worked closely with his father shortly after World War I until 1930 when he set up on his own. Though his output was somewhat limited, much of his production is of the same quality as his father’s. This bow shows some influence of Ouchard. It is a very good playing stick, striking the balancing between flexible and resilient. It is accompanied by a Millant certificate.

Louis Bazin

Louis Bazin

Mirecourt. The youngest son of C.N. Bazin, Louis apprenticed with his father, later taking over his workshop in 1907.Throughout his career he employed bow makers to help him out –including his son- always maintaining a high standard. Many of his bows were made for dealers, but he also made many bows with his own brand.

Charles Husson

Charles Husson

An excellent maker with a fairly short working period, Charles Husson began his training with his father in Mirecourt. In 1873 he moved to Paris to work at the Vuillaume shop before working with Voirin, and then Gand and Bernardel. He set up on his own around 1880, producing bows that were influenced by his master, Voirin, and his former classmate, Andre Vigneron. This bow is nimble and elegant, strong yet flexible, and produces a luscious tone. It is accompanied by a Raffin certificate.

J.J. Martin

J.J. Martin

Paris. Martin was an archetier of great skill whose production was of high quality right up until his death in 1910, at the age of 73. After serving an apprenticeship in his native Mirecourt, he moved to Paris where he worked for Vuillaume, going on to be one of the firm’s great makers. He established his own workshop in the early 1860s. Although he was one of the best Parisian bow makers of his time, he mostly made bows for other firms.