A Timeline history of the Violin Bow - from c. 1600 - 1800

... the sources in detail ...

Freiberger Dom, Germany 1594

Painted on the vault of the memorial chapel of the Cathedral of St. Marien in Freiberg, Saxony, is a magnificent Last Judgement surrounded by a series of sculptured angels on the balcony playing [presumably] celestial music.

The amazing thing, is that 21 of the 30 instruments held by these angels are actually original instruments, subsequently painted gold - including the one pictured here, an Angel playing a descant (= small, tuned either a third or fourth higher) violin. Note the length of the bow (short), the way the hair is attached at the tip and the one-piece bow/frog construction. The thumb on stick bow-hold could also be particularly interesting -- from the sources (for example, Prinner, or Muffat), this is not what we would expect in Germany at that time. BUT it might not be accurate - the figures, instruments and bows were discovered in dis-array, and the way they are now organised is not necessarily their original position.

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