Beares Auctions has sold a silver and ebony mounted violin bow by François Xavier Tourte for the record-breaking price of $288,960. Wow! Nearly a quarter of a million pounds for a bow. You could buy a house, or a Bentley for that?!

Can you hear the difference?

Esther Abrami is an Instagram violinist who has released a comparison video of the four violin bows she tries with her 1690 Stradivarius;

Violins can be some of the most expensive instruments (yes, Stradivari, we’re looking at you), so the cheapest bow Esther uses is worth a still-eye-watering $500.

She then plays Monti’s Csárdás on three more bows: a $40,000 François Voirin, a Joseph Henry on the market for $90,000, and a Dominique Peccatte model worth a whopping $160,000. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the sound gets warmer and smoother as the bows increase in price.

Back to the Real World!

So now you have determined that actually, the bow makes very little difference in comparison to the cost, lets look at the most popular, and best value for money bows.

So, does the size of your Violin relate exactly to your bow length? Well generally, yes, but there may be the odd exception.  Here is an approximate guide;

Violin Bow Measurement Guide:

  • 4/4 : 71-74cm
  • 3/4 : 66-69cm
  • 1/2 : 58-61cm
  • 1/4 : 53-56cm
  • 1/8 : 47-51cm
  • 1/16: 39-44cm

Please note, the above dimensions are for guidance only and vary from different sources. They relate to overall length from tip to end of stick (excluding button).

Here at Normans we sell a wide range of violin bows to suit beginners as well as more advanced players. With the festive season coming up, a lovely new bow would also make a great stocking filler! You can see 3 of our most popular models below.

Forenza Violin Bow

Without doubt, the best value-for-money Violin Bow on the market! Forenza is one of our most popular brands among students and teachers due to the durability, quality and fantastic price of their products. The Forenza Violin Bows are no exception. This violin bow is perfect for the beginner / student who is used to the weight of a wooden bow and still wants great quality on a budget.Crafted from quality Brazil wood with natural horse hair, ebony frog and double pearled eyes, this is the perfect replacement bow for a keen violinist that is strong, durable and will provide a great playing experience.  That’s the bow that is strong & durable……not necessarily the Violinist!!

Available in sizes: Full Size, 3/4 Size, Half size, 1/4 Size and 1/8 Size

Stentor 1461J Student Violin Bow

Stentor is a well-established brand, extremely popular with students and teachers all over the world. The 1461J Student Violin Bow is a great addition or replacement, designed for beginners. This violin bow from Stentor has a high quality, strong round wood stick. There is a full mounted ebony frog with a Parisienne eye, and it is ideal for a student looking for a great value bow to play their violin with.

Available in sizes: Full Size, 3/4 Size, Half Size, 1/4 Size, 1/8 Size and 1/10 Size

Stentor 1533CH Enhanced Violin Bow

Stentor 1533CH Enhanced Violin Bow is a great option for a progressing student, wanting to ‘raise their game’. It has a higher quality build with a strong round wooden stick (the Stentor description which sounds like they just found it in the woods! But, is actually a carefully selected, strong piece of timber.) Fitted with natural white horse hair, ebony frog and a Parisienne eye, not only does it look great, it provides quality and durability and it is the perfect companion for performing and practising.

Available in sizes: Full Size, 3/4 Size, Half Size, 1/4 Size

About the author

Diana was Normans Piano & Strings specialist for a number of years. She is a singer songwriter, plays piano and speaks 3 languages. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling as well as blogging about anything.

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