There are Hill bows and Hill bows … and this is about as good as you can get, a chased gold and tortoiseshell fleur de lys bow in mint condition. And it plays!
This is a superb example of the work of the late Bill Watson, the first maker to join Hills after the Second World War. There are a couple of his gold and tortoiseshell fleur de lys bows illustrated in “The Hill Bow Makers”, but neither of them incorporate chased gold. So when it comes to bling, this is really the summit.
Hills only lavished such extravagance on the very best pernambuco, and the stick of this bow is remarkable – octagonal section dark red-brown wood, deeply figured and very reminiscent of Tourte wood.
The condition of the bow is as new – all facets of the stick crisp and unworn, no chips or cracks to the frog, and no markings on the gold.
This is a remarkable bow in every way, and it’s a delight to use. Typically the stick draws a warm and muscular tone, but it’s also nimble and airy. It feels totally at home in the hand and seems to be free from deficiencies. The balance point is spot-on with the original whalebone lapping (25.5cm from the end of the stick) and it’s a supremely easy bow to use.
Although it would satisfy a player at the highest level, this is very much a collector’s bow – as a rare and pristine example it should not be subjected to heavy playing. And given the difficulties of travelling internationally with tortoiseshell, it would be best suited to a player who intends to stay put! You don’t need to submit a CV to us in order to buy it, but please accept that a bow such as this comes with responsibilities.