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Virtual Tour of
"Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna:
Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance
1789-1848"



King Charles IV Violin Bow
Attributed to the Workshop of Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, ca. 1700

Royal Arms of Spain on frog of NMM 4882.  Violin bow attributed to the workshop of Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, ca. 1700.  Arne B. and Jeanne F. Larson Fund, 1989.

NMM 4882. Violin bow attributed to the workshop of Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, ca. 1700. Ex colls.: Charles IV of Spain; W. E. Hill & Sons, London. Arne B. and Jeanne F. Larson Fund, 1989.

This bow is one of but two bows (the other in a private collection in London) attributed to the workshop of Antonio Stradivari. It has a fluted stick, perhaps inlaid later (probably in the mid-eighteenth century) in Spain, with colored fruitwoods. This side of the bow's later mahogany frog (made before 1788) is inlaid with the Royal Coat-of-Arms of Spain in honor of King Charles IV (r. 1788-1808).

Tip of NMM 4882.  Violin bow attributed to the workshop of Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, ca. 1700.  Arne B. and Jeanne F. Larson Fund, 1989.

The bow was said to have been found at the Spanish court with a set of instruments made by Stradivari. The "swan-head" design is typical of bows of this period.

Monogram of King Charles IV on frog of NMM 4882.  Violin bow attributed to the workshop of Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, ca. 1700.  Arne B. and Jeanne F. Larson Fund, 1989.

The monogram of King Charles IV is inlaid on the opposite side of the frog. This bow was shown at the international exhibition in Cremona in 1987 to mark the 250th anniversary of Stradivari's death.

Source: André P. Larson, Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna: Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance 1789-1848, with essay by John Koster, exhibition catalog, Washington Pavilion, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, September 12-November 2, 2003 (Vermillion: National Music Museum 2003), p. 29.

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