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Ouchard Violin Bow Repair Case Study

Background

A violin student at the Oberlin Conservatory of music brought his E.A. Ouchard bow in to our bow maker and restorer, David Tamblyn. The seventy-five year-old bow had been purchased in California for $18,000 USD in 2002.

BeforeAfter

Problem

The obvious problem was that the underslide and the top of the frog had started to deteriorate. David noticed several other problems. The underslide was not a proper match for the bow as it did not fit securely against the profile of the stick. The bushings inside the stick (holes that the screw sits in) had become oval, making the frog unstable against the stick and causing the top of the nipple (a tiny wooden ring at the end of the stick) to wear away. The screw was worn, bent and misaligned in relation to the button, and the eyelet (a threaded ring that holds the screw) was stripped.

Solution

The deteriorated top of the frog was replaced with new ebony while leaving as much of the original frog as possible. David made and installed a new sterling silver underslide which fit perfectly against the profile of the stick. The bushings in the stick were then replaced and a new nipple was installed to match the nipple recess in the button. The original silver button casing was saved and used by recoring the button (i.e. replacing the ebony core of the button) and a new screw was inserted into the button. A new eyelet was installed to complete the restoration.

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