Mirecourt’s Émile Auguste Ouchard and his son Bernard are regarded as among the 20th century’s finest bow makers, main characters in a family who created a distinctive style of stick. Writing in The Strad’s December issue, Thomas Martin, Andrew McGill, Martin Lawrence and George Martin focus on Ouchard double bass bows, two examples of which are shown here

Atelier E. F. Ouchard

Atelier E. F. Ouchard

The Ouchard family of Mirecourt can accurately be described as a dynasty. This great family helped shape almost a century of French bow making and spread its influence far across the globe. Through its main characters, Émile François, Émile Auguste, Bernard and Jean Claude, we can trace the development of the Ouchard bow making style, from its humble origins in bows produced within a larger firm, to a distinctive model setting an example for generations of bow makers to come. In this article we take a particular look at the double bass bows of the Ouchard family, an often overlooked but intriguing part of the Ouchards’ rich history.

Émile Ouchard (père), c.1930. double bass bow

Émile Ouchard (père), c.1930. Silver mounted with three-piece button and large single eye, round stick. Although more robust in style, the head still has the swept-back, curvy form. Also note the lower style of frog with sharper curve on the heel. Stamped: EMILE OUCHARD

Collaboration between Émile Ouchard (père) and Émile A. Ouchard (fils), c.1934–36. Double bass bow

Collaboration between Émile Ouchard (père) and Émile A. Ouchard (fils), c.1934–36. Silver mounted, with solid silver button and ring and eye, octagonal stick. The head clearly shows signs of the father Émile François Ouchard (père), with a more swept-back top of the head, and slightly elongated, declining point of tip. Stamped: EMILE OUCHARD

To read the full article, with details this fascinating dynastic story and is illustrated with ten examples of double bass bows, click here to log in or subscribe

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