William R Retford followed his father WC Retford into the firm, and made bows for Hill between 1919 and 1960. This is a lovely example of his work, aslightly atypical model which is reminiscent of Tubbs/Hill. The stick is of round section orange-brown pernambuco, mounts are silver and ebony – the whalebone lapping is original. The frog bears a number 3, suggesting it was the work of Albert Leeson.
The bow is in excellent condition, with no damages or restorations.
Hill bows are pretty varied in playing character, but generally the better bows bearing the WE Hill & Sons brand are very reliable. This bow is unusually good – a light and nimble stick but with a full tone and a strong spring. Most players have quite strong ideas about what sort of weight they prefer, but I would defy anyone to guess the weight of this bow! It is something of an enigma, being at once effortless to use yet powerful and meaty. It has great attack, and it seems to do everything with ease.
Dimensions: length 74.5cm, weight 56 grams
Certificate: JF Raffin, Paris 2009
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