One of the more mysterious figures in the history of violin and bow making is Nikolai Kittel, who was of Austrian descent but born in St. Petersburg around 1805 and died in 1868. Until recently virtually no formal account of his life existed, though his bows have been held in the highest esteem for over a century. He is thought to have employed several assistants in his shop, including Friedrich Hermann ...Read More and Heinrich Knopf, whose hand is evident in numerous bows bearing the Kittel brand. Both those produced by Knopf and by Kittel himself show a distinctive and consistent interpretation of the Tourte model, and bear few German characteristics, but differences in their workmanship are apparent. The heads of Kittel's bows are more rounded and the chamfers rougher, while Knopf's heads are more square with smoothly filed chamfers. Sticks of both makers are of beautiful wood and well-planed, with very centered cambering, and nearly all frogs bear Parisian eyes. While recent research has shed considerable light on the body of work produced by Kittel's shop, further investigation is necessary to reveal further biographical details about this important maker.
- The auction record for this maker is $211,541 in Mar 2015, for a cello bow.
- 23 auction price results.
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