H.R.Pfretzschner - violin bow

  • Hello,

    My question concerns violin bow signed by H.R.Pfretzschner. Frog designation of the manufacturer.
    Is it an original bow or a fake?
    I can not find any information on whether H.R.fretzschner produced baroque bow's.
    What wood is it made of?
    I can only buy the bow I'm not sure about its value and originality.
    What value can have such a bow?
    Thank you in advance for your help.


  • Those pictures are to blury to say anything for sure.
    The frog type at the thumb does fit Pretzschner somehow. Usually you can look at the head shape and the button if it could be genui, both it not possible in this case.
    I think I can see white parts in the wood looking at the head. If it would be pernambuco I would expect them to be dark, close to black even. Light coloured parts are usually a sign of some kind of brasil wood.

  • It is nearly impossible to evaluate a bow from pictures. I had master bows which were bad, and anonymous bows which were great. Much more than in instruments the playing/sound features, handling, sound potential, stiffness, straigtness etc. are important for the value---often more important than the brand/master.

    there are many opportunities to repair and improvean instrument, but if a bow has certain problems there is no chance to change them. Even the best makers made bad bows from time to time.

    So I would reconmend to play the bow abd buy it if it is good, and not to look at the name. For baroque bows, the market is quite small, so general evaluations are very hard to make.

    Baroque bows are not easy to sell, I paid 160 Euro for a Dotschkail baroque bow .

    If you want to play baroque style, try several baroque bows and buy the best one.

  • A good baroque bow can get pretty expensive nevertheless.
    I wrote it already, I dont see more problems in evaluating a bow by its maker than a violin. There are violins by the best makers that have been around where no regraduating or new bassbar could get it to play better than a students violin. Same for bows.
    In both, bows and violins, the best I ever played have been by wellknown makers.
    There are a lot of criteria to judge a bows maker by pictures, in the end you will need somebody knowlegeble to judge eiter a bow or a violin in person to make sure its "the real deal". However, pictures will in both cases often tell the lable is faked.
    When it comes to Pfretzschner, Richard Grünke is the expert to contact, he even studied under him and is THE expert world wide for Pfretzschner certificates.

  • Thanks for the suggestions and tips.

    At this moment I do not have better photos but I will try to get them and then to post on the forum.
    The bow is not twisted and the wood has darker stripes across the bow.

    Braaatsch, I know your opinion that not the creator and the item itself is of value but a recognized producer gives you a better chance of having a good quality item. I also know that the bow H.R. Pfretzschner cost from 100 to several thousand euros (my skills are enough for 100 € :)). In addition, he would fit this bow to my violin with a monk head (so, by the way, two luthiers issued an opinion about their value, ie between 12-13 thousand PLN :))

  • Wow, 2800 Euro for this violin...! Would they buy such instruments for that price? Maybe the prices are different in Germany and Poland? But as I always say: The sound is important, and if the violin sounds like that or more, it is worth that or more. Same for the bow.

    I totally agree that a good makers name is a very giod start for getting a good quality item. I just say that there is no guarantee even with the name. And I do not saythe bow is bad- I just recommend to play it to see whether it fits your needs. In my eyes, telling you that the bow is worth 1000 Euro without having seen it , withouttesting the stiffness, the sound etc. is simply
    not honest, as it would maybe lead you to buy that bow without testing it yourself.

    And I am still of the opinion that fiddling and good material is not a matter of the "right brands", but of good fiting nstruments, no matter where they are from. That is of vourse diffeent for a colector, and some fiddlers are kind of both- musicians and colectors.

    As I am more a musician and only
    know the cheap prices in Germany, my impressionsmay not always be right for you and may not be correct for your geographical region. bur as there are many peope here, you should wait for many opinions- I do not claim that I am right, but I share my opinion with you.

  • One problem is that there are bows marked H.R.Pfretzschner (which are or may be Pfretzschner bows), others marked only Pfretzschner (maybe copies or some workshop bows) and others with different first letters which were -as far as I know- a brand of Gewa bows.

    The baroque bow above seems to be original, but to judge that from pictures only is hard, so I would recommend zo show it to a luthuer. I totally agree that there are MANY copies, some better, some wirse...

  • Directly after leaving Vuillaume there are a few PFRETZSCHNER stamped originals, all other bows by the master himself are stamped with H R. Over the years he used very different letterings though, making it possible to judge a genuis bows age quite precisly, but hard to outrule bows by the stamp alone.
    Usuallly you would look for a button pin too, but on a baroque made bow...