Richard Gwilt - Historical Bows

Talbot's Manuscript

James Talbot was an English writer on music who lived from 1664 to 1708. James Talbot's Manuscript (Christ Church Library Music MS 1187) is a collection of writings on music, divided roughly into three sections, covering:

  1. Theory
  2. General Observations and Extracts from earlier writers
  3. Measurements and specifications of many different instruments, including winds, strings and keyboards
It was probably written over many years - around the last decade of the 17th century. He has this to say about the violin bow:

Bow of fine Speckled-wood has two mortises to wch the hair fastened and one at the head the other towds the bottom or back part of Nutt. Hair of the best & finest white hair if possible from Stoned horse: hair should be full. Bow of violin not under 24' [61cm] from there to 27 ½ [70cm] at most. 27 , 26-25 ½ [ca 66cm] Solo-Bow.

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