Ludwig Bausch: Gone… but not forgotten

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Respected during his lifetime, Ludwig Bausch was almost unknown just a few years after his death – and his bows were considered unremarkable junk. Josef P. Gabriel reveals why the maker and his family were almost lost to history, and why his work deserves to be listed among the greats

On 1 November 1898, an article ‘in memory of the bow and violin maker Ludwig Bausch’ appeared in the Leipzig Magazine for Instrument Making. It begins: ‘Anyone who looks in works and writings about the violin, and the masters of violin making in German, French and English, will search in vain for notes about the life and work of violin and bow maker Ludwig Bausch. In the rich English and French violin making literature the name is not mentioned at all, and we could only find two references in the relevant German works, which are limited to a brief mention of the name “Bausch in Leipzig”, with no more information about his life or his importance as a violin maker.’ How could it have been possible, just 27 years after his death, that the name of Ludwig Bausch had apparently been forgotten…

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