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Prosper Colas Ferret-Marcotte Atelier Violin Bow, France, c.1920

A fine French silver-mounted violin Atelier bow made around 1920, stamped Ferret-Marcotte a Paris, which was previously the Prosper Colas Atelier. It is also branded Tourte on the opposite side. 58 grams, very nimble, with a incisive articulation and sweetly focused tone with ample quality. Flexible with a stable feeling because of the strength of elasticity.

About Colas & Ferret-Marcotte:

Prosper COLAS

1842 - 1919

Although Prosper COLAS’ parents have not been traced with certainty, oral tradition tells us that he was born in 1842 in Coincourt (Meurthe et Moselle). The only male child born that year and bearing the name of COLAS was named François. His mother, Catherine Colas, the widow of Christophe Villeramin, is said to have registered him nineteen years after his birth, the name ‘Prosper’ being only a pseudonym (document 15).

He served his apprenticeship locally and was influenced by the late Peccatte school. His work is often confused with that of his contemporaries like François BAZIN, Claude HUSSON, Pierre CUNIOT and others, but his hand must already have been very sure.

In 1871, he arrived in Paris, where he probably worked for J. B. VUILLAUME. He may also have set up on his own account, because, from this date, we find his first branded bows (bow 1).

At that time, J.B.V. had great influence in the trade, and one often finds bows by Prosper COLAS with “Vuillaume-style’’ frogs. The firm was prosperous at the time and produced a wide variety of models. In general, the style was close to that of Bazin; nevertheless:

Moreover, he employed some talented workers. His production was at its highest about 1900 and many of his bows were sold by luthiers, whether branded with his name or not.

He also made simpler models, branded with his initials: “P.C.”

From 1900, the style of his bows became heavier, but his production remained nevertheless of high quality.

Prosper COLAS died in 1919 in the Paris area. With his workers, he made many bows of good quality.

It is interesting to note that his firm was then taken over by FERET-MARCOTTE, which specialized in wind and stringed instruments, as well as the sale of music published by Peters Editions.

Bows branded “FERET-MARCOTTE” were made by good Mirecourt craftsmen, like Pierre MALINE.

(From L'Archet Vol 2, Millant/Raffin 2000)

Prosper Colas Ferret-Marcotte Atelier Violin Bow, France, c.1920

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