Images from The Rawlins
King Charles IV Violin Bow
Attributed to Stradivari Workshop, Cremona, ca. 1700
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).
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.
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.
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