A French viola bow made, in our opinion, by Nicolas Maline.
Nicolas Maline (1822-1877) was an important French bow maker of the 19th century, born in Mirecourt to a family of luthiers. Son of violin maker Guillaume Maline (1792-1859), he apprenticed in the family workshop, and is believed to have been employed at the workshop of Étienne Pajeot. In 1840, Maline went to work for Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume in Paris, producing numerous bows with his signature rounded frogs. After leaving the Vuillaume workshop, Maline served in the French military and was awarded the "Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur" in 1849. As Maline's bow production became more prolific in the 1850s, he established his own workshop, where he trained his son Nicolas Auguste Eugène Maline (1855-c. 1917) and his nephew François Alexandre Maline (1862-1922), a bow maker whose own son, Pierre Maline (1883-1934) would become a prominent maker. Incidentally, Nicolas Maline was a relation of another of history's most influential French bow makers: Louis Joseph Morizot ("Morizot père" 1874-1957), a grandson of Maline's father.