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Old 03-18-2013, 09:33 PM
Dave Whitla Dave Whitla is offline
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Default Traveling with ivory frog

I may be touring in the US later in the year. My favourite bow has an ivory frog. The maker can't give me anything more than "it's from my family's old stock" as a statement of its origin. I have another bow with a nice ebony frog that fits the stick of the first one, so I have two questions:
1) Has anyone had problems traveling internationally with bows with ivory parts?
2) Is it sacrilegious to swap frogs from one bow to another?

Any input would be welcome.
D.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:59 PM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Originally Posted by Dave Whitla View Post
I may be touring in the US later in the year. My favourite bow has an ivory frog. The maker can't give me anything more than "it's from my family's old stock" as a statement of its origin. I have another bow with a nice ebony frog that fits the stick of the first one, so I have two questions:
1) Has anyone had problems traveling internationally with bows with ivory parts?
2) Is it sacrilegious to swap frogs from one bow to another?

Any input would be welcome.
D.
I heard 2nd hand a horror story of a customs officer taking a hammer to smash a frog that was not legal. I don't know if it is true.

I had 2 bows 'returned' to me, made in NY, USA by Sue Lipkins from Canada to PA, USA. 'US Fish and Wildlife' officials demanded I get a Permit to get my own personal bows back because of the pearl Slide and 2 dots. The first agent disregarded my loan document and origin because they called it an illegal import of pearl and I gave the player a document for the return to avoid this problem. The supervisor at 'Fish & Wildlife' finally gave in and returned the bows to me.

With Ivory, if you can't get a document for exemption due to it's age, it might be a huge mistake. Changing the Frog for a tour is ok as long as you put it back later. Make sure the other one fits and doesn't damage the stick or screw. If the maker is alive, call him!
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:06 AM
Dave Whitla Dave Whitla is offline
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Thanks Ken. The term 'illegal importing' tips me off to how the customs guys are thinking. It really shouldn't be considered importing at all when you're only bringing it in for work (with a visa, etc. etc.) and taking it home again afterwards. I won't be taking the chance though.

Also a very good idea to ask the maker, which I can certainly do. The ebony frog I have in mind seems to fit nearly perfectly. Then again, I might just bring a different bow...
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:52 PM
Dave Whitla Dave Whitla is offline
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Default update, sort of

I had an interesting experience while attempting to switch frogs on these bows. I figured I would try it out well in advance of the tour to be sure was comfortable with the results. The frogs/sliders matched each other quite well so I was fairly confident the switch would allow me to take my Dolling bow on tour (sans ivory) and, and I also thought the other frog would go nicely, even if only temporarily.

HOWEVER, it turns out that the handmade, custom nature of sticks and frogs means that the frogs are carved to compensate for quirks in the stick (I'm sure no bowmaker is surprised by this), so that when my bows were rehaired with the other frogs and tightened they both curved sideways!
(the obvious question is did they curve in opposite directions, and while I think they must have my reaction to seeing the curves was to loosen the bows immediately and get the original frogs put back ASAP, so I didn't notice for sure)

Experiment terminated!
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:33 PM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Originally Posted by Dave Whitla View Post
I had an interesting experience while attempting to switch frogs on these bows. I figured I would try it out well in advance of the tour to be sure was comfortable with the results. The frogs/sliders matched each other quite well so I was fairly confident the switch would allow me to take my Dolling bow on tour (sans ivory) and, and I also thought the other frog would go nicely, even if only temporarily.

HOWEVER, it turns out that the handmade, custom nature of sticks and frogs means that the frogs are carved to compensate for quirks in the stick (I'm sure no bowmaker is surprised by this), so that when my bows were rehaired with the other frogs and tightened they both curved sideways!
(the obvious question is did they curve in opposite directions, and while I think they must have my reaction to seeing the curves was to loosen the bows immediately and get the original frogs put back ASAP, so I didn't notice for sure)

Experiment terminated!
If the re-hair causes them to curve sideways, then the hair is too short on one side. This can be corrected in 1 or 2 ways. Pull the hair out on the short side or have it re-haired correctly.

At the ISB earlier this month I sold a fairly expensive bow and took in another bow on partial trade plus cash for the difference. The bow that I got in was a Sue Lipkins bow (my 9th!). The player had 2 Lipkins bows already and other great bows as well so they traded up. The other Lipkins bow came from me as well a few years ago. I saw Sue Lipkins there at the show and showed her the Bow that she had made about 6-7 years earlier and pointed out the sideways camber in the stick. This was not from her making. It was from an un-even re-hair job. She took the bow, pulled hard on the hair and evened out the tension of the bow. It was fixed as far as the eye can tell. She mentioned that the hair was still good but when it needs a re-hair in the future, it will be done right. The other re-hair was not by her. Her work is about the best human hands can do.

Also, on your Frog problem, they can vary in height as well and also the length of the hair. Besides that, the eyelet in the frog might not be at the exact same height to line up with the screw hole. Each frog and screw is made and drilled so everything lines up. Switching frogs can create a whole host of problems.
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:46 PM
John Cubbage John Cubbage is offline
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I once owned a beautiful L. Marizot bow with the ivory frog. I purchased it new for $120 from Fred Batchelder of the Philadelphia Orchestra in maybe 1968. One day I foolishly leaned it up against something. The bow tipped over and smacked on the tile floor. The ivory snapped off along the edge of the D ring. It was never the same. I replaced it with an ebony frog and it worked fine. To break that ivory frog hurt. It was like a piece of China, fragile. I wouldn't buy another for myself. They are beautiful!

- Dr. C.
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