My sister-in-law has just returned from Hong Kong with a ‘designer’ handbag bought for $8. This sparked great debate in our household about which mattered more, the label or the quality of the product…
This discussion got me thinking about a new series of blogs, dedicated to exploring the links between two similar makers, one ‘designer’ and one much more affordable. Unlike the handbag, these knock-offs don’t compromise on quality!
Today I want to focus on the bow makers Eugene Sartory and Louis Henri Gillet. Sartory is of course the Louis Vuitton in this analogy, being about as well known as any of the French bow makers. He was an extremely gifted individual who made pretty incredible bows, but like most successful French luthiers and archetiers, he ended up with a workshop of apprentices helping him.
One of these apprentices was Louis Henri Gillet, whose initials can be found on some Sartory bows. These bows aren't any cheaper for Gillet’s involvement, but the bows made by the apprentice alone are very much cheaper despite being of fantastic quality.
Here are some pictures a Gillet violin bow that we've just sold. It's a stunning bow in incredible condition with Raffin certificate and sold for far less than one would pay for a Sartory with a head break. Everyone deserves a great instrument at a fair price: do get in touch if you’re looking to purchase an instrument or bow but don't want to pay over the odds!