Süss, Johann Christian
According to Lütgendorff,
Christian Süss worked as a maker of very simple bows in Mühlhausen,
near Adorf, until he learned his craft "properly" from Chr. Friedrich
Knopf. It was in 1852 that he was first mentioned as being a citizen
and bow maker in Markneukirchen. The first bows of his that we have
seen come from the time around 1870.
These bows have been
stamped TOURTE and follow the same line of thought as the bows he
later made that are stamped SUESS. Quite a few bows showing the same
hand that are stamped W. H. HAMMIG LEIPZIG serve to round out the
picture of his later working period. It is possible that an earlier
connection to the Weichold workshop existed but it would be difficult
first bow pictured here was made around 1870 and is stamped TOURTE,
which simply indicates the model used. The head sits upright on the
stick and comes forward a bit, in the style of a late F. X. Tourte,
although the face plate surface has more of a curve towards the tip.
The sticks are usually
octagonal, as one can see here, and the edges are clearly rounded.
This stick, made of finely grained, dark pernambuco has been evenly
cambered to the middle and is well proportioned. The combination of
well balanced work on the stick and first class material have resulted
in his bows having superior playing qualities.
The frog is striking,
both in its clear proportions and precise working details. The typical
characteristics of his work especially include the cleanly cut "U"-formed
throat and the angled back surface of the frog as well as the one
piece heel plate with lightly curved sides. The liner is usually secured
The button, which is generally
somewhat narrower than the handle, has, with a few exceptions from
Süss's later working period, a small "U"-formed collar cut. The screw
has a coarse thread and is conically pointed at its tip
second violin bow, which is stamped SUESS, was made in his late
working period. In almost all its details it shows the same characteristics
we have seen on the last bow. The head still sits upright on the stick,
whereas the throat has been worked with a bit more of a curve to it.
It is possible to see some file marks on the strikingly cut chamfers,
but this has had no effect on the overall vividness of the head.
The beautifully planed
octagonal stick has been made of lightly colored yellowish-brown pernambuco.
One can often see this choice of wood in the bows made in his late
The frog stands out through
its harmonious proportions and its softened, yet still striking execution.
The three-part button is once again narrower than the handle and has
a short double collar cut.
cello bow pictured here, again stamped TOURTE, follows the same
pattern both stylistically and technically as the violin bows last
described. The only real difference is in the more heavily rounded
line of the peak of the head, which deviates somewhat from the Tourte
model. The frog and button share the same characteristics of the violin
The nickel mounted violin
bow pictured here carries the brand SUSSE. The obviously rounded
throat and other small details would indicate a probable collaboration
with Süss's grandson, August Nürnberger-Süss.
He assisted his grandfather
in the last five years of his grandfather's life; according to witnesses
of the time, Süss's vision was in the process of failing in his old
Carl Süss (1860-1898),
the son of Christian Süss, was also a bow maker; he emigrated early
in his life to Montevideo, Uruguay, where he died in 1898.