A near-mint condition WE Hill & Sons viola bow in chased gold and ebony, the stick by John Clutterbuck (1970).
For some general observations about the Hill Workshop please take a look at our article :
This is a rare chased gold and ebony model with a plain frog and a decorated button – the result is beautiful and striking. The stick is of octagonal section speckled orange-brown pernambuco, very reminiscent of FX Tourte wood and very appropriate to the model.
The face bears the maker’s mark 14 for John Clutterbuck, the stick and frog have the assembly mark C, the stick is dated “70” and has a gold number ?200.
The condition is outstanding – there is one small dent to the top of the stick and a small re-glued lift to the top edge of the frog on the player’s side, otherwise there are no signs of use.
Gold Hill bows are always good – the more valuable mounts were always chosen to go with the best wood.
The stick of this bow is strong but elastic – it’s an easy bow to control yet it has a definite virtuoso tendency.The sound is big and slightly gritty, the balance slightly towards the tip.
Overall, a feeling of power in reserve yet delicate enough to play at very low volumes.