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André Georges Richaume Octagonal Double Bass Bow - # 0198 - SOLD

Tell me about this bow.

This bow is by and branded A. Richaume a Paris. The octagonal stick is made from first quality pernambuco and the quality and poise of the work bears testament to the high esteem placed upon Richaume by bow experts, connoisseurs and players alike.

Which experts for instance.

There are several major reference works available on French bow makers. In Volume 2 - page 808 of the double volume encyclopaedia - 'Les Archets Francais' (Second edition published by Sernor - M. Dufour) - by French violin and bow expert and connoisseur Etienne Vatelot - Vatelot states "One of the most remarkable bow makers of his generation".

Are there any other expert reviews?

Yes. Christopher Brown in his beautifully produced Volume - 'Discovering Bows for the Double Bass' - 1994 Beaux Arts Editions page 173 - writes "One of the great French bow makers of the 20th century".

Anything more?

Yes indeed. On page 418 of 'L'Archet' (Published L'Archet Editions 2000. ISBN : 2-9515569-0-X) - the sumptuously produced four volume reference work with text in French, English and German by Bernard Millant and Jean François Raffin the following is written; "He remains one of the great bowmakers of the early twentieth century. His personal notes testify to the quantity as well as quality of his production".

I heard that L'Archet has set a new standard in bow expertise?

Yes indeed it has. Both Monsieur Millant and Monsieur Raffin are recognised worldwide for their expertise in this highly specialist field. As a result - L'Archet has become the new standard reference work on French bows and their makers.

How much info is there on Richaume in L'Archet?

There are two full pages of text in each language and no less than seven pages of full colour photos of his work. The photos are in both actual-size and in an expanded format - to show the more important details such as brand stamps and various frog and button views. In addition to the wonderful photography - there is a copy of Richaume's death certificate, a picture of his workshop and a letter written to André Chardon.

I'd be interested to know how may bows Richaume produced?

L'Archet Vol 3, page 418 there is a listing of his output that totals 1158 bows. The listing is as follows;

1000 silver and ebony bows
15 gold and ebony bows
13 gold and ivory bows
60 gold and tortoise-shell bows
50 silver and ivory bows
20 silver and horn bows

Who influenced Richaume as a maker?

Richaume was apprenticed with Emile François Ouchard (known as Ouchard P?re) and later with his uncle Victor Fétique in Paris. Occasionally he worked with his other uncle Jules Fétique. As a consequence of working with these master bow makers - Richaume's style of making is both bold yet highly artistic.

What date is the bow approximately?

The bow dates from around 1950 - 1960.

Can you tell me about the condition of this Richaume bass bow?

Yes. The condition of the bow is exceptional. There are very few signs of usage or wear.

Tell me about the stick.

The head; The head shows a bold, confident maker at the peak of his career. There is much masculinity in the head coupled with precise flowing lines and chamfers.
The wood; The choice of wood is inspired. It is dense, long-grained pernambuco of the finest quality.
The chamfers; The chamfers of the octagon are quite remarkable in their precision and sharpness. The work shows both a steady hand and a steady eye.

What about the brand stamp?

On the bows that we have examined by Richaume - the brand stamps have all been impressed relatively faintly. The stamp on this bow is consistent with this observation. It is still however - quite legible and incredibly pure.

Tell me a little about the frog and button.

The ebony; The ebony is really fine quality. It is close-grained and pitch-black throughout.
Decoration; The frog has "Parisian" eyes fitted.
The heal; The heal is rounded and has four pins fitted in the back-plate.
The underslide; The underslide is made of silver and has two pins fitted.
The button; Is in one-piece silver with a single pin fitted.

How does the bow play?

In terms of playability this is a bow that feels and plays well beyond your highest expectations. When you first pick it up - you just know that it means business. At 137gms (approx) in weight - with a full silver lapping - this is the perfect tool to produces a massive, full-toned "orchestral" sound. The wonderfully strong - yet flexible stick makes playing Beethoven, Brahms, Bruckner and Mahler symphonies seem quite effortless. When required - the bow responds equally well to spiccato and generally more subtle styles of playing.

Are there any well known artists who used a Richaume bow?

Yes. The violinist David Oistrakh used a bow by Richaume throughout his life.

What were Richaume's dates?

Richaume was born in Mirecourt on 08/02/1905 and died in Paris on 31/03/1966.

Do you have a final summary?

There seems little doubt that the style and quality of Richaume's work was influence by that of his uncle's work. Jules Fétique in turn was very much influenced by the work of the great bow maker - Eugène Sartory - for whom he worked for several years. The style and celebrity of Sartory would also have been virtually impossible for Richaume to ignore. In this example - Richaume's work is truly in the same class as that of Sartory.

Any final words?

If you are a player wanting the best of the best - then this Richaume bow should certainly be at the top of your list. If you are perhaps an investor or collector wanting to lay something down - rather like a fine wine - then this Richaume should certainly be at the top of your list. This really is an exquisite bow - in absolutely exceptional condition.

Stats:

Length of Stick : 673 mm
Weight : 137 gm

Price: SOLD

For a very big view of the bow, click on either of the photographs

Head side view of Andrea Richaume Octagonal Double Bass Bow

View of head side

Frog view of Andrea Richaume Octagonal Double Bass Bow

View of frog

 

 
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