Bowmaker and Expert

Winner of two silver medals at the City of Paris competition and five gold medals in international competitions,
and recipient of a ‘Best French Workers’ award in 2008,
bowmaker Yannick The Canu is an expert appointed by the Court of Appeal in Douai.

As a teenager, Yannick spent most of his time in his uncle’s violin and bow making workshops, at the famous Loïc Le Canu and Bernard Millant establishment. Whenever he had a spare moment, he would have the opportunity to work in his “warm and friendly atmosphere, and the excitement of being in close proximity to prestigious instruments”, as he puts it. He quickly became interested in their work, making, restoration and authentication.

“I was fortunate to learn all aspects of this trade in this prestigious bowmaking workshop,” Yannick remembers. Having made bow expertise his profession, Yannick now participates in the preparation of the most important international auctions held in Vichy.

In 2012, Jean-François Raffin asked Le Canu to work with him and Sylvain Bigot in their bow expertise practice. Since then, they meet every Friday in Paris to examine and assess bows, and they have found their way into the auction catalogs of Vichy Auctions. Each assessment is carried out by Yannick. One of his most memorable encounters is an example by master bowmaker François-Xavier Tourte, “which was buried in a bundle of bows brought to us by a musician…This exceptional bow reached the impressive price of 68,000 Euros at an auction conducted by Etienne and Guy Lawrence,” explained Yannick.

Before becoming a key participant in auctions in his expert capacity, Yannick used to visit the sales of auction houses both in France and abroad. He wanted to continue to sharpen his eye by learning to recognize the peculiarities of each maker’s style, and to distinguish between the various schools of making. This meticulous research and accumulated knowledge has, in turn, fed his own bowmaking skills, which has been rewarded by two silver medals at the City of Paris competition and five gold medals in international competitions. Additionally, Yannick’ won a ‘Best French Workers’ award in 2008. He has now been deemed ‘out-of-competition’ on account of his numerous awards and medals, but continues to be involved in competitions, as a judge and lecturer.