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I'm not a string player (I once tried to learn viola da gamba but gave it up), however I've known a lot of early music string players. I was once told by a professional Baroque violist that in order to perform all the styles of music from the earliest days of the violin, viola and cello to the present day, if one wants to observe historical performance ...


In short: Bows varied a lot during the baroque period, and evolved into something pretty similar to a modern bow. The bow in the first picture may be heavier, shorter, and with a less pronounced curve than a typical modern bow, and would be made of a different, less dense type of wood. But the picture doesn't show enough to tell all the detail of this ...


The two bows pictured are quite different. The first does not appear to be a 'curved' bow. The second is curved. Curved bows are rare. With the curved bow players can play all of the strings at the same time. With the standard bow one or two strings are played.

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