Joseph Henry volin bow c.1850

Joseph Henry was an outstanding French bow maker. Along with Pierre Simone he was the most well known student of Dominique Peccatte.

Henry was born in Mirecourt, France in 1825 where he was trained and stared his carrier as a bow maker. After moving to Paris he was working at the Dominique Peccatte workshop, slowly developing his own style. Henry and Peccatte were very often collaborating in result of what they garnered considerable acclaims for their bows.

Around 1848 Peccatte returned to Mirecourt and Henry decided to collaborate with Pierre Simon for a short time.  Finally in 1851 Henry decided to work independently and that was the time when he produced some of his finest bows.  In 1855 he made a series of tortoiseshell – mounted bows which stand out among his other work. He died  in Paris in 1870.

His style is dominated by the Dominique Pecctte but there are also influences of Pierre Simone.  Most of his bows feature dark red-brown in color round stick and are branded “Henry A Paris”, although most of his bows carry the brands of his employers. Henry represents very high quality craftsmanship and elicits consistently favorable reviews from players.

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This particular bow weights 59 grams and is stamped Dominique Peccatte.  Features beautiful round red varnished stick, and the ebony frog with pearl eye. Gorgeous, silver button with pearl eye is not original and most likely made by Persoit.

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This bow plays beautifully. It is incredibly well balanced and comfortable.  It feels different then any other bow that I have tried to play so far.  It is very bouncy but easy to control. I love how effortlessly I can play staccato up or down (played Heifetz Hora Staccato). Playing the second movement of Tchaikovsky violin concerto was an incredible experience. This bow glides evenly, incredibly smoothly and responds beautifully to any speed and pressure changes. It is a Ferrari of all the bows!

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2 Comments

  1. kypros
    May 12, 2015 / 9:13 pm

    Violinista, welcome to the world of classical French bows. The wood looks fantastic and I’m sure it plays as fantastically as it looks. It’s rather sad that it’s worn at the grip, but it shows that it’s a bow that has had a lot of use, meaning it’s a good playing stick, otherwise players would have passed it by.

    • violinista
      May 13, 2015 / 5:36 pm

      Thank you

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