Broken bow: Virtuoso sues snappy dealer

Broken bow: Virtuoso sues snappy dealer


norman lebrecht

January 06, 2015

The Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos is pursuing legal action against a specialist dealer in Burbank, Cal., who broke his bow, valued at $80,000.

According to court papers, Kavakos, 47, ‘65,000 euros for an 1850 J. Henry bow in August 2012, “ornately adorned with tortoise shell and silver.”  He says he brought it to Gevorkian Nazareth Violins in January 2013 to find out why the bow was curved. Gevorkian “began applying pressure to the Henry Bow, at which time the Henry Bow snapped into two pieces.

‘Kavakos says Gevorkian should have heated up the bow first, to make it responsive to straightening, but he did not. He says the bow is broken beyond repair. He seeks $80,000, and damages for negligence and breach of contract.’


h/t: Alexandros Rigas


  • Jeffrey Levenson says:

    Collect insurance and buy a new bow.

  • Operacentric says:

    Well, dealer should claim on insurance – it’s his premium that should be affected by his action, not his client’s…

  • Milka says:

    To believe a bow could be worth 8,000
    never mind 80,000 , is to believe the moon is made of green cheese . .The amount of tortoise shell and silver amounts to a spit in the ocean.

    • Christian Atanasiu says:

      One could say the same about any antique, or artwork. The bow is not valuable because of its materials, just as anew original Picasso is not valuable because of the pigments he used for his oils, or the brand of canvas. Henry was an extremely influential bowman whose work is prized for its quality and historical importance. A top quality (brand new) modern bow routinely goes for 4000/5000€ and up, mounted in silver and ebony. You pay for the quality of the (endangered and highly valuable) wood, the years of training, experience, and workmanship that a top notch bowman exhibits. Gold, tortoiseshell, and ivory are nice additions, and the rarity of such antique bows raises their price even more. Guess there must be a lot of cheese up there, because such bows are in great demand from musicians, collectors, and investors alike.

      • Milka says:

        Picasso and friend were having coffee
        at some outdoor spot , Picasso prints are in folder leaning against chair– friend is concerned some one might run off with them,Picasso waves off
        the worry saying they aren’t worth anything as they are not yet signed.
        There was in the last century a
        famous if not the most famous violinist
        of the day
        who used to on occasion give away
        as a souvenir the bow used in a concerto performance .We now
        have raised to an art the price$$$$$
        of everything . Mr.Atanasiu is correct in noting one pays for workmanship etc. etc . and if one is lucky to find a fool to
        pay an outlandish price for a bow
        one cannot argue the point except to note that it benefits no one except
        collectors , investors ,certainly not young string players … wonders
        if the bow hadn’t name attached to it
        but is in every aspect a fine bow ,what
        would its market value be .Quite a price to pay for a name . Brings to mind people dragging their stuff to antique shows feigning desire as to know
        “what is it “?? while the heart is beating to question “what is it worth ”
        Mr. Antanasiu I can find bows for 3,000 $ or less that rival any five $ figure bow,
        only missing is the “name “.
        Hope it can be verified as a certified “Henry ” whose work has often been
        confused with Peccatte.