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Jon Griffith

Joseph Richter Violin bow

6 posts in this topic

Does anyone know anything about Joseph Richter violin bows? If you do please post something. I have one that I like a lot and would like to know the general value of it. -Jon

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Hi Jon:

An item needs to be seen before even generalizing on value. It would help a little if the type wood is known:pernambuco or Brazilwood? The mountings: ebony and silver or nickel? Is frog fully lined or half lined? Is it octagonal or round? And, most of all, are there any repairs to the stick or frog? Might be able to generalize if the questions are answered.

Cheers,

Al

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: Does anyone know anything about Joseph Richter violin bows? If you do please post something. I have one that I like a lot and would like to know the general value of it. -Jon

I have a "Josef" (not 'Joseph') Richter bow purchased new about 28 years ago. It so happens it was recently appraised along with an old violin. Mine has a round, red-brown pernambucco shaft with nickel-mounted ebony frog, with plain pearl eyes. It has imitation (plastic) whalebone winding. Length is 725 mm; weight is 54.3 grams. The bow is in excellent condition and was appraised at $300 (although I was told that was the upper end of its value.)

I've always thought the bow was OK, although light compared to the bow I first learned to play with. I recently purchased a Coda "classic" for about $700. Although I actually slightly prefer the tone of the Richter on my instrument, the playability of the Coda is far superior, and it ultimately provides noticeably better sound overall.

I hope this is useful (assuming your "Joseph" and my "Josef" are actually the same maker.

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: Does anyone know anything about Joseph Richter violin bows? If you do please post something. I have one that I like a lot and would like to know the general value of it. -Jon

Both "Josef" and "Joseph" Richter bows are made by the same small family workshop in Germany. They come in different qualities from inexpensive nickel mounted Brazilwood to more expensive silver mounted pernambuco. For the money, they are excellent commercial bows and a good value. The more expensive ones perform quite well indeed for a bow of that class. They are distributed by Ideal Music in NYC whom they have a contract with. You may try to contact Kay or Jack Loeb at Ideal music for more info on the Richter workshop. Don't worry about the value of it. It is a commercial bow, thus has very little collectable value. A good speciment might even outperform a more expensive collectable bow. There are many big name French bows out there that don't even play well but are valuable due to the maker's reputation in constructing excellent bows in the majority of his output. The important thing to you is how well does your bow play and how well does it compare with others.



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: Hi Jon:

: An item needs to be seen before even generalizing on value. It would help a little if the type wood is known:pernambuco or Brazilwood? The mountings: ebony and silver or nickel? Is frog fully lined or half lined? Is it octagonal or round? And, most of all, are there any repairs to the stick or frog? Might be able to generalize if the questions are answered.

: Cheers,

: Al

I know I'll be soundin' like a total moron here, but one has to learn somehow so I would appreciate it if you would stop laughing about 5 minutes after you've read this post and kindly post an informative post. I don't know much about violins or bows, I would love to be able to become a fount of knowledge like some of the people on this board, but it might be a while, and I can't afford the books right now to read about, anyways how do you tell the difference in pernambuco and Brazilwood? Also how do you tell if the mountings are silver or nickel? Yet another stupid question what is the difference in fully and half lined? I mean what do you mean by lined, Mine has a little piece of leather (or something similar) to rest the finger on that's about 1 and a half inches long and then there's a little bit of some sort of metal wire wound around above that. Thankfully I know the difference in octagonal and round, it is octagonal. I know this seems really stupid, but please just answer me or I'll remain stupid forever. By the way any suggestions on books to read to help identifying expensive violins and bows? Or not necisarilly expensive, but nice.

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Hello Jon:

No attempt to make a joke....I have a fault, thinking everyone understands the terms, sorry.

Well, the lining(or bottom slide) is that metal that goes between the black ebony frog and the stick handle. If metal continues up the back of the frog and around to the pearl slide (top slide), then the bow frog is fully lined. The full lined frog bows are more expensive than those which do not have the metal coming up the back to the upper slide. The latter is called half lined frog.

Learning the difference between pernambuco wood and brazil wood is sometimes difficult. Brazil wood has open pores in the wood structure, pernambuco doesn't. Turn the pernambuco bow stick under a strong light and you will see patterns change and shimmer, almost like flame in maple. Brazilwood does not do that. Brazil wood bows are less expensive than pernambuco. To define the two woods better, use the search engine above.

Nickel metals used on the frog are for cheaper bows than silver metals, or mountings (the term for frog metal parts.) Nickel has a greenish tinge, silver has a blackish tinge when they are oxidized, or not polished. Polished, nickel looks like a bright metal, silver reminds you of "moon glo."

The wrapping (or grip) above the frog toward the tip has little effect on value.

Condition has everything to do with value. A repaired crack in the head depreciates a bow a lot....a cracked shaft makes the bow worth next to nothing, even if it is repaired.

I hope some of this has helped.

Best to you,

Al

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