Francois-Xavier Tourte, by the end of the 18th
century, gave its definition to the classical bow that
became a French art reference, very much like the
violin had been fostered in Italy. Great French bow
makers like Peccate or Sartory developed this craft
during the 19th and 20th centuries.
They left us a patrimony of bows that is stunning and
Fine bow-heads are naturally fragile. A lucrative
commerce around lutherie, based on the
value of some pieces, adds to the frailty of bows:
original parts are replaced or substituted, bows are
“married” to produce a complete pricey piece.
We need to protect the patrimony of bows and play them with
precaution as long as possible because they tell us
about human talent for beauty and music.
In a spirit of both learning from the ancient masters
and allowing the best examples of bowmaking to be
played and preserved, Benoît Rolland undertakes some
restoration tasks. He sometimes, yet rarely makes
whole replicas of the finest French bows.