Claude Thomassin violin bow, Paris circa 1920
The best known of the Thomassin family of French bow makers, Claude Auguste Thomassin (1865-1942) became one of the most important and prolific bow makers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Born in Mirecourt, Claude worked in the Bazin family workshop alongside his relatives, Nicolas François Thomassin (1833-1903), Nicolas' son Victor Thomassin (1856-1920), and Louis Joseph Thomassin (1856-c. 1905). In 1885, Claude moved to Paris to work for the Gand & Bernardel firm, the same year Louis Thomassin took over François Nicolas Voirin's famous workshop. The bows from Claude Thomassin's early period at Gand & Bernardel were branded with either the firm's full name or "Gustave Bernardel". In 1901, Claude Thomassin established his own business in Paris where he produced a vast output of bows branded with his own name, "C. Thomassin À Paris." He also made bows for numerous other French luthiers, including Caressa & Français, Alfred Jacquot, Paul Jombar, Émile Laurent, and Hippolyte Chrétien Silvestre, as well as John & Arthur Beare of London. The bows of Claude Thomassin are very highly regarded and sought-after by professional players.