"With which bow do you play ? " "A Peccatte". "-Yes, but which one ? -" "-Peccatte Peccatte-". "- Dominique? -" "No, not this name, the son -". "- "Well, Dominique Peccatte had no sons, but two females only ! -". "-The brother, it is his brother Charles" "-Excuse me, but Charles was the grandson, his brother was François." "- Well, however, it is always a Peccatte, isn't it ? -". No, and now I'll explain it to you in the same way I did with the owner of that bow! 


Silver and ebony violin bow Francois Peccatte 1845/50

The short conversation that I quoted in the opening he post, was held a few weeks ago with a customer and gives an idea of the possibility that the experts have to fool 90% of musicians. As you know, the history of craftsmen is filled with children and grandchildren who continue the job already started by their fathers or grandparents, but in most cases, several family members may also have different market prices.

In the case of Peccatte family, in addition to the large difference in price, there are also considerable differences in philosophy and construction, especially between Dominique and François, his two brothers and Charles, grandson of the first and son of the second one .When I approached Peccatte, at first I thought to speak about the whole family , but these differences are so fundamental that they made ​​me change my mind. We can not speak of Charles, before having described the turning point, in the second half of the nineteenth century, by his teacher: Francois Nicolas Voirin.

Francois Peccatte, was born in Mirecourt as well on March 10, 1821, eleven years after his brother, Dominique, who, as you will recall, enters the laboratory by J.B. Vuillaume already in '26. Even in his very young age, driven by the fame of his brother (remember that his father was a hairdresser ), he began his apprenticeship as a bowmaker in his hometown and at the end of 1839, when he is l seventeen, he joins him in Paris, in the former Lupot's workshop recently taken over by Dominique.

He remain in Paris a little longer than a year, where thanks to his brother, he learns the job and refines his style taste.It's very probable that some bows of this period might have been produced in collaboration.

He returns to Mirecourt, opens his own business and on August 23, 1843 he marries Marie-Francoise Mougeot, which in 1850 gives birth to a son: Charles, the future bowmaker.

Business is starting to go well, and as early as March of the following year, he claims to give employment to four workers in his workshop , and four in the town of Mirecourt, he had already put on the little factory!

This is the most prolific period for Francois.The bows he builds and let build are more linear and basic than those of his big brother, but have also a more affordable price.While Parisians bows cost between 11 and 100 francs, his bows started from 1 until a maxiumum of 50.This is the reason why orders arrive abundant.

In 1847 he returns to Mirecourt and Dominique starts working with his brother, although maintaining a well-distinct brand.Dominique is classified in the commercial register as "Peccatte Aine", and Francois as "Peccatte Jeune". The reason for this sharinjg is simple. Although this is considered the golden era for Francois, and despite many of these bows have been built in collaboration with his brother, Dominique, just thirty-seven , was already a legend, and both for economic reasons and pure snobbery, he did not wanted to be treated as a provincial bowmaker ; the fact that he was also the brother was not particularly significant for him (nice guy, indeed ).

Francois obviously regrets this a lot because in November 1851 he solds his home in Mirecourt for 3500 Francs (a nice sum as those who bought it had to make a loan of fifteen years!) and returns to Paris.

When he arrives in the capital, he moves at 11 rue des Lavandieres-Sainte-Opportune, and even if he does not open his own workshop, he begins working for J.B.Vuillaume.In addition he still maintain the business relationship with his hometown.

In poor health, Francois died in Paris on October 30, 1855, at the age of 34 years.

The character


With such an important brother , the style of Francois, is not only inspired, but sacrificed to those of Dominique. He tries to copy and reach his brother level with all his strength and he succeeds in it, at least in the shapes.

The bow we are analyzing is considered the classic example of this effort. If you compare it with that of his brother, you realize that the profile of head is very angular, the bevel is large and important, the throat of the frog that goes up entering very much into the top, the blade is very long, all suggests more than an inspiration. But despite having a very talented hand, lower than that of his brother, but not that much, the character that shines through is different. Dominique's head is bold and defiant, and the frog is nothing short of snarling. Francois expressed in the same shapes a kind of inevitable resignation.


Silver and ebony violin bow Dominique Peccatte

Francois Peccatte remains one of the great of French bomaking , often comparable with the brother, with an enormous potential, probably not fully expressed due to his premature death and health conditions of the last years of his life.

See you soon