WE Hill & Son bows come in many grades and levels of quality, but this bow must be one of the the best examples. A great player’s bow too, and in unusually fine condition.

This is a beautiful fleur de lys Hill, with mounts of silver and tortoiseshell. The stick was made by Leeson, and the date of manufacture is stamped under the frog.

There’s no need to go into the history of Hill bows – they are renowned the world over for quality and reliability. The “WE Hill & Son” brand was reserved for the best sticks, and precious mounts (ivory, gold, tortoiseshell) reflect a further grade of quality beyond that. So here we have a bow which met Hill’s highest standards for workmanship and playability. Other than some slight wear to the handle and a few tiny dings in the upper fifth of the stick the bow is in excellent condition. Tortoiseshell frogs are quite fragile, and it’s rare to see one so well preserved.

You would probably have to play your way through 20 or 30 Hills to find one as superior as this. If one can level any criticism at Hill bows it’s an occasional dryness of tone, but this bow is quite the opposite, with a rich yet crisp sound and great feedback in the fingers. The response is immediate, very detailed articulation and an easy staccato. Bags of volume, and a sort of imperturbable assurance that makes for a confident performance.

One of the best Hills we’ve had, and a great example from this fine workshop.

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