Richard Gwilt - Historical Bows


As mentioned on my homepage, snakewood is indeed a king amongst woods. It is a matter of conjecture at which point it became commonly used for violin bows.

Unlike the indigenous wood bows, of which there are as good as no surviving bows from the time, we do have a few surviving snakewood bows arguably from the early 18th (or even late 17th) century. So there are models to copy. But not many, and their dates are conjectural, and there was clearly no standardisation whatsoever. See the Background for a detailed discussion.

I make a few 17th century models:
A short bow(ca 61cm) with ‘simple’ straight stick (no camber), weighing about 40 grams:

The next is a little longer (ca 63cm), but a little lighter (about 32 grams), with a very slight camber, tapering down to next to nothing (just 3.6mm) just behind the tip (inspired by the bows in the Salzburg Museum) - very flexible, but surprisingly strong in sound, and nicely articulate:

A ca 66 cm stick - Talbot's sonata or solo bow (...of fine Speckled-wood):

Richard Gwilt - Tel. +49 (0)2243 911829 - Handy (Mobile) +49 (0)1525 394 1771 - Email: