2021 Virtual Exhibition | Ralph Ashmead, Maker of Historical Bows

Boston Early Music Festival

Ralph Ashmead has been specializing in the making of period bows for almost forty years. He has sold bows to leading soloists, orchestras and universities all over the world. His bows have graced the covers of the Strad, Strings and Fine Woodworking Magazines. He has been exhibiting at BEMF since 1985.

Ralph's bows are made from the finest materials available including four kinds of Ironwood, Snakewood, African Blackwood and Pernambuco. Frog materials have included many types of wood, Mammoth ivory and more recently some very good artificial ivory materials.

A bow is as unique as the musician. One particular style or model may not fit the needs of any one player. Because of this, Ralph makes many different models and variations of bow styles for all sizes and types of bowed instruments. He keeps a large selection of bows in stock and once you narrow down what you might be looking for, Ralph sends you several bows for a trial period.

For more complete information including photos, client lists and more, please visit his website at ashmeadbows.com.  In the words of L’Abbe’ le Fils, “One can call the bow the soul of the instrument it touches." Ralph will work with you to find the bow that best compliments your individual playing style while also bringing out the best tone from your instrument.

Visit Ralph Ashmead's Website

Ralph Ashmead, Maker of Historical Bows
P.O. Box 1411
Tuolumne, CA 95379
ashmead@frontiernet.net | 209-928-1272


An introduction from Ralph Ashmead

Alana Youssefian using Ashmead violin bow Model AF, African Blackwood with Mountain Mahogany

Enrico Onofri using Ashmead violin bow model AL, Ironwood with Mammoth ivory

Giovanni Sollima using Ashmead Cello bow model EK, Snakewood with Mammoth ivory

Enrico Onofri using Ashmead violin bow model AF, African Blackwood with African Blackwood frog and Mammoth button

Lisa Grodin using Ashmead violin bow model AF, Ironwood

Elizabeth Blumenstock using Ashmead violin bow Model AS, Pernambuco and artificial ivory

Fabio Biondi using Ashmead violin model ABA, ironwood with Mammoth ivory. Fabio Ravisi using Ashmead violin model AL, ironwood with Mammoth ivory. Maurizio Naddeo using Ashmead cello model EM, Snakewood with Mammoth ivory.

Rachell Ellen Wong using Robert Mealy's Ashmead violin model AS, Ironwood and Mammoth ivory