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.
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".
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".
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
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.
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.
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
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.
The bow dates from around 1950 - 1960.
Yes. The condition of the bow is exceptional. There are very few
signs of usage or wear.
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.
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.
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
The button; Is in one-piece silver with a single pin fitted.
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.
Yes. The violinist David Oistrakh used a bow by Richaume throughout
Richaume was born in Mirecourt on 08/02/1905 and died in Paris
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.
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
Length of Stick : 673 mm
Weight : 137 gm