Richard Gwilt - Historical Bows

Violin bows

I have various models on offer. First come the earliest - ca. 61 cm short, very light (around 30 grams!!), made from various indigenous woods, all with a clip-in frog and black hair (white available on request). These are incredibly sprightly bows, very articulate, ideal for the earliest Italian and German repertoire. For more information see the Background.
Here are a few pictures of such bows with different woods:
Cherry, with a boxwood frog (31.7 grams, 61 cm):

Beech, with an ebony frog (30.3 grams, 61.5 cm):

Plum, with an boxwood frog (32.4 grams, 61 cm):


Yew, with an ebony frog (28.5 grams, 62 cm):


This bow is also available in pear (or Elsbeer), and maple, each with its own characteristic sound and feel.

I make essentially the same bow - 61 cm, with a clip-in frog in snakewood - still articulate and very lively, but somewhat heavier, which lends a certain density and focus to the sound (37.9 grams, 61 cm):


And then come the so-called “Sonata” bows - same design, just a little bit longer (this from Talbot's Manuscript - again see the Background for details.) . Here are some examples:
Cherry (36.8 grams, 66 cm):

(In comparison with the snakewood version, the stick is very thick - necessary for weight and strength. But it has a certain clarity and openness in the sound)
Snakewood, also 66cm, weighing 42.4 grams:


There are a pair of (nearly identical) original bows in the Salzburg Museum - known as the ‘Biber bows ’, pretty much just because they were found in Salzburg. Any putative connection with Biber is pretty tenuous - we don't even know when they were made. That said, the incredibly filigran stick just behind the point lends this model a particularly lovely feel and sound. I make version of this bow in snakewood:

and in ironwood (this one with a boxwood frog):


As discussed in my background page, a portrait of Corelli has recently come to light, with a rather nice portrayal of his bow. In the absence of any actual bows that we can reliably date to Corelli's time, I offer this 'embodiment' of a 'Corelli' bow:


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