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Marcel Lapierre silver-mounted violin bow

Featured Violin Bow

About Marcel Lapierre

French bow maker Marcel Charles Lapierre was born in Mirecourt in 1907 and died there in 1979. After apprenticing with Jérôme Thibouville Lamy from 1921 to 1923, he worked for many of the top bow makers of the early 20th century French school, including François Lotte, Louis Bazin, and Louis Morizot. In 1946, Lapierre travelled to Paris to study briefly with Emile Auguste Ouchard, then to Geneva, Switzerland, where he worked for Pierre Vidoudez for two years. He returned to Mirecourt in 1948 to establish his own workshop.

About This Violin Bow

Round, silver and ebony frog. 4/4

Emmanuel Begin  silver-mounted viola bow

Featured Viola Bow

About Emmanuel Begin

Canadian bow maker Emmanuel Bégin began his training at the age of 14 with his father, Louis Bégin, in Montréal. He moved to Lille, France to work with Yannick Le Canu for several years, before returning to Montréal to open his own workshop.

He has won several recognitions from the Violin Society of America competitions, including a Gold Medal for a cello bow and Certificates of Merit for his violin and viola bows in 2012. In the 2014 VSA competition, he won Certificates of Merit for a viola bow and cello bow, a Gold Medal for a violin bow, as well as an additional Gold Medal for a bass bow made in collaboration with Eric Fournier.

About This Viola Bow

Round. Silver and ebony frog. 16” and larger

Gustav Prager gold-mounted cello bow

Featured Cello Bow

About Gustav Prager

Researching the Prager dynasty of violin and bow makers reveals numerous family members with various (and sometimes conflicting) forenames and birth and death dates. Luthiers named Prager can be traced back to the early 19th century in Markneukirchen, Germany, including violin maker Wilhelm Heinrich Prager and bow maker Friedrich Wilhelm Prager (presumably relatives), who worked in Landwüst--a region of Markneukirchen--in the early 1800s.

Friedrich Wilhelm's sons, Gustav Oskar (also possibly known as Gustav Adolf and Oskar Gustav) Prager (1866-1953) and August Edwin Prager (b. 1875), developed the outstanding reputation of the family name with their training in Leipzig at the workshop of Ludwig Bausch (known as the "German Tourte") and their successful businesses established in Markneukirchen. The Prager brothers' bows were widely admired and copied--numerous German bows were branded with the Prager name and exported during the prolific period of violin and bow production in Germany at the turn of the 20th century.

About This Cello Bow

Octagonal. Gold and ebony frog and button. 4/4
We believe this bow to be an authentic Gustav Prager cello bow representing the best of what the family produced.

Horst John German Bass Bow

Featured Bass Bow

About Horst John

When one thinks of quality Brazilian handcrafted pernambuco wood bows, one name comes to mind: Horst John. Founded in 1951 as a precious woods exporter by a 24 year-old German-born immigrant, Horst John became a true pioneer by converting his firm's noble woods operation to bowmaking twenty years later. It was, and continues to be, a reference point of high standards in the quality of its naturally dried process (not artificially force cured). John only used pernambuco wood from a decades-old private stock approved by the Brazilian Environmental Authorities. The company today continues the same practice of using only aged wood.

About This Bass Bow

This Horst John Special German Bass Bow is from their "Classic" line of bows, which copies the bow to the specifications used in the past along with famous engravings and ornamentations from the pre and post Baroque periods. It features a round pernambuco stick, silver-mounted frog, beautiful flower inlay and a silver wound grip. It weighs 138.5 grams.

Please Note:

  • Any instrument or bow (with the exception of electric instruments, fretted instruments and "student bows") purchased at Johnson's, whether online or in our shop, comes with the same guarantees and trade-up policies.
  • Any returns made within thirty days of purchase will be honored with a full refund.
  • Returns must be in original condition.
  • If you would like to try instruments or bows in one of our sales showrooms, please contact our sales staff to schedule an appointment.
  • To schedule an appointment or for more information, please contact our Sales Department at or by phone at 800-359-9351. Please follow the prompts for instrument and bow sales.

Additional Resources

Carriage House Violins

Carriage House Violins

Located in Newton, Massachusetts, Carriage House Violins is the instrument sales division of Johnson String Instrument.

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The Johnson String Project

Johnson String Project

A charitable foundation whose goal is to provide high-quality instruments to children who live in underserved communities and who are participating in El-Sistema-inspired programs in Massachusetts.

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