Nicolas Maline I
Born in Mirecourt to family of violin- and bow makers, Nicolas Maline probably apprenticed with his father, Guillaume, and may have worked for the Pajeot workshop. In 1840 he started to make bows for J.B. Vuillaume, but he never seems to have established ...Read More himself in Paris. Maline soon developed a personal model in the robust style of Peccatte, featuring wide heads with thin chamfers and a pronounced ridge, and broader frogs. Soon after developing the signature rounded frogs that bear his name, Vuillaume asked Maline to begin producing his own bows after this model. They are quite well-crafted and show some personal expression in the extension of the base of the ferrule.
It is not clear when Maline stopped working for Vuillaume, but after being named to the Legion of Honor for his military service in 1849 he became more independent and further refined his personal style. Bows from this period on are often decorated with the cross of the Legion of Honor. His output increased significantly after 1855 and he probably hired assistants to help him. Bows varied in materials from snakewood or ironwood mounted in nickel-silver to pernambuco mounted in silver or gold and tortoise-shell. His son Nicolas Auguste Eugène began to assist him around 1870. Bows from this date are often of much lesser quality, probably as a result of wartime hardships. On the whole his output ranges from good to very good, with some examples of exceptional quality.
- The auction record for this maker is $39,000 in May 2014, for a violin bow.
- 136 auction price results.
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Maline family tree