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King Charles IV Violin Bow
Attributed to Stradivari Workshop, 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.

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Related Links

Individual Instruments

Guitar, The Rawlins, by Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1700

Mandolin, The Cutler-Challen, by Stradivari, Cremona, 1680

Violin, The Harrison, by Stradivari, Cremona, 1693

Bass Viola da Gamba, Stradivari Workshop, Cremona, ca. 1730 (Violoncello Conversion ca. 1835-1850)

Checklists

Checklist of Bowed Stringed Instruments Made Before 1800

Checklist of 16th- and 17th-Century Instruments

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