Welcome to Cat & Bow, the place to find affordable, hand-crafted Baroque violin bows.
Heidi Erbrich, a professional early musician, offers a selection of different hand made bows from her workshop in Spain.
Early baroque bow with a clip-in frog.
It is suitable for early Italian music and Biber but also works well for Purcell and French 17th-century music.
The stick is made from snakewood and the frog can either be made from ebony or snakewood. The length is 64 cm and it is approximately 36-39 grams.
Early 18th century violin bow with screw mechanism. Good for playing Handel, Bach etc.
Bow, frog and button are all made from snakewood.
Length is 68 cm and weight is approx. 49-51 grams.
Mid-baroque viola bow. With screw or clip-in frog. Made from snake wood. Length 72cm. Weight +/-57g
Late baroque viola bow, loosely based on the Thomas Smith bow in the Ashmolean museum. Made from snakewood. Length 73cm. Weight 60-64g.
I have been playing with an early baroque bow, made by Heidi, for three years now, and I am very pleased with it. The bow is perfect for 17th century music, especially French music, either with an Italian or French bow hold. It has a very quick and direct response and is very stable, which allows it to create a very compact tone, even with slow bows. In fast passages it grips the string very well, which results in a very clear articulation. The bow is very light and has a fine finish. The quality-price relationship is really good. In the following video link I am playing with the aforementioned bow.
I have two bows from Heidi and I am very happy with them. One is a short light bow, for early Baroque/17th century music that is very agile and easy for fast passages, but one can also produce a beautiful legato with it.
The other is a bow from around the first half of the 18th century , a “sonata-bow” type. It is longer, but feels just as supple, light and stable and with a very fine feeling of balance. I am therefore very happy with both bows!
Whilst practicing a Pandolfi sonate I got three new bows, made by Heidi Erbrich, just to try. They were much lighter and shorter than the bow I used to play with. What a difference…. I could play with much more ease, the ‘gruppo’s’ etc. sounded wonderful…..I could play as a singer!
I chose one of Heidi’s bows. Through the lightness and quality of the bow my arm and the bow are one!