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Thought I'd pass on some bow making history that I didn't find online but seems to be common knowledge among the bow makers here in Tucson ...
The VMAAI convention covers both violin building and bow making as well , with a separate competition for the bow makers ...thus there is a wealth of information there ..and they are happy to give anyone interested a run down on some of the finer points
A couple of years ago I was given bow making lessons by two bow builders schooled in different schools and this covered the history of development as well as building
Right now , I would like to address a brief mention in chat about finger rests / windings on bows where it apparently seems to be thought that this came about as a result of the use of steel strings ....as this was not my understanding from my teachers ...so I talked to them again about the subject to be sure I wasn't miss remembering what I thought I had learned from them earlyer ..
I asked if the introduction of the finger rest had anything to do with the change from the original gut strings to steel , as that was not my understanding ...again i was told that there is no connection between the two as finger rests / windings date back to the change from Baroque to a more common design we see after the Baroque era when concave bows were developed and began to resemble what we use today ...
Steel strings , of course were no where to be seen yet and gut strings was the order of the day when finger rests / windings were introduced ...thumb rests coming latter to reduce wear in that area ...
The introduction was two fold ...for better bow control and because the stick wears in this area without this wrap ....
Once nickle and latter silver windings / wrap came into use it became a way of improving weight and changing the ballance of the bow ...a ratio of seven to one if anyone is interested in that feature ...however this approach may give you the weight you want but does not address other issues and is no replacement for a properly made bow with weight and flexability properly built into the bow ...
In short , just because yer old bow may be missing it's windings / rest doesn't mean that it never had one ....it would have to be very , very old to make that assumption
I will also mention the same is true with a grafted tip on a bow ...it doesn't mean it is a repair ...maybe , maybe not , as many bows are / were made this way when new ...
So, here's a 1920 Nippon bow with original silk wrap and factory grafted tip ..not a repair ...done to achieve balance ...this tip is not present on all 1920 Nippon bows ...just some models ...the ferrel on the frog also has extra flts on the sides that extend over the edges to place more hair at the edge ...nice feature ...again not found on all ...
Ray , you can still get silk wrap fer yer bow at bow makers suppliers on line if you wish to put it on your 1920 Nippon ....thumb rest may be very thin pig or lizard skin or just extra thick windings of silk ..this wrap comes in guilded and or colors ..
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