This is a beautifully preserved early Hill bow, the work of William Napier according to the late Bill Watson. Well balanced, a great weight, and a clear full tone.
The Hill workshop produced bows for the best part of 100 years, and there are innumerable variations in model and workmanship. The current thinking is “the earlier the better”, and here we have a very fine example from 1910-1920 showing some lovely details – a rather oversized adjuster with a deep central collar, a half-mounted frog, and a very elegant head, swept up at the face and broad around the cheeks.
The stick is of excellent mid-brown pernambuco, darkening considerably towards the head – mounts are silver and ebony.
The bow is in remarkable condition with no issues and very little evidence of use.
Hill bows come in various grades, the better sticks carrying the WE Hill & Sons brand. These bows are always great all-rounders – quality control was rigorous enough to ensure that they stay straight for ever, the mounts always work perfectly, and there are no short cuts.
This bow is typical of the earlier Hill style, a strong but supple stick which tracks perfectly and which does everything a bow should do. The legato sound is clear and refined, but there’s plenty of grip, and the attack is there when you need it. Off the string is a real treat – sprightly yet controllable.
All in all this is an unusually nice historic Hill bow with a bit of extra “alegria”.