bow integrates features from a number of original
eighteenth-century French and English bows studied by Philip Davis. It is
fluted, and its nut is made of snakewood. As few bows for the pardessus
de viole have survived, they are difficult to reproduce.
Pardessus de Viole Bow
Snakewood, bone, horsehair
Davis is a Toronto luthier and bow maker who, in addition to
making instruments of the violin family and early stringed instruments,
specializes in restoring period instruments. A guitarist by training,
he studied sculpture and cabinetmaking at the Ontario College of Art
in 1969. When he built a classical guitar as a course project, he
discovered an activity that was an ideal blend of his interests.
Through instrument making, Davis has pursued fascinating research on
the relationship between the form and function of an object. Between
1975 and 1978, he lived in London, where he studied the construction of period
stringed instruments. He received two Canada Council grants and conducted
intensive research on major European instrument collections. When he received
his second grant in 1983, he studied in Germany for one year with master
luthier and bow maker J.J. Schroeder. For the past twelve years, Philip Davis
has given a course on stringed-instrument making, which he established
at the Ontario College of Art.