Violin bow: Classical, A. Dipper, FX Tourte, Cramer model

Violin bow: Classical, A. Dipper, FX Tourte, Cramer model

The Cramer bow is distinctive because of its ‘battle axe’ head profile. It supplanted the Italian model of Tartini, whose design was typified by a somewhat awkward and rather fragile swan head with a long tip. The Cramer bow was designed for volume dynamics and percussive attack techniques of large ensembles, techniques that might have compromised the somewhat weaker and elevated heads of the previous Tartini models. It was promoted and in fashion between 1760-1785 notably in Manheim where Wilhelm Cramer spent the early portion of his career, and in London where Cramer emigrated in 1772.

The Cramer model bow is longer than most Italian models, measuring around 70-71 cm but is shorter than the modern standard length of around 74.5cm. The bows typically weigh less than the modern standard, being in the 50-57 gram range. A notable characteristic of the Cramer model is the specially shaped head whose design incorporates a thin palette of wood that extends the back of the tip plate towards the bow frog, giving the design its familiar battle axe profile. This detail lends strength to the back of the head behind the hair mortise and players have noted that this feature aids immediacy of the response to the bow in spiccato strokes. To learn more about the FX Tourte model visit Dipper blog.

Violin bow: Classical, A. Dipper, FX Tourte, Cramer model– DVB319 (price $3,200)