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

... the sources in detail ...


James Talbot's Manuscript (England ca 1690s)

James Talbot has been described as "an English writer on music". Little is known about his life, nor why he undertook the massive undertaking that his manuscript represents - nor why it was catalogued as "A Collection for a Treatise upon Musick by Dean Aldrich". Be that it may, the mansucript is extremely useful to music historians. It consists of three sections - theory, general observations and extracts from earlier writers (Mersenne, Praetorius, Kircher). Of particular interest are his measurements and descriptions of many contemporary musical instruments.
Of the bow he says:
Bow of fine Speckled-wood has two mortises to wch the hair fastened and one at the head the other towds the bottom or back part of Nutt. Hair of the best & finest white hair if possible from Stoned horse: hair should be full. Bow of violin not under 24'(61cm) from there to 27.5 (70cm) at most. 27 (68.6) 26 (66.4 cm) - 25.5 (64.8cm) Solo-Bow.