This is a very attractive viola bow by Garner Wilson, one of the many great British makers who came out of the Hill shop. The condition is near-mint.
Garner Wilson apprenticed in the Hill shop in the 1960s but very quickly established himself as an independent maker. His bows are very reliable players and distinctive in appearance, and the viola bows in particular have proved very popular.
This example has an octagonal stick of remarkably flamed pernambuco, in fact some of the most decorative wood I’ve seen on a Garner Wilson. Mounts are silver and ebony – instead of the characteristic double-ringed silver eye we have an oversized Parisian eye set with an unusual silver-grey pearl.
There are no condition issues and the bow is in an excellent state of preservation.
Many of the Hill makers seem to have ended up making super-heavy bows, but Garner Wilson’s bows are always well judged and supremely playable. This bow is under 70 grams, very nicely balanced, with a strong stick that’s both elastic and easy to control.
Great off the string action, fast, crisp response and a nice broad legato – in other words a very good all-round viola bow at an affordable price.