The gold and tortoiseshell fleur de lys bows are the summit of the Hill workshop’s output. This is a beautiful example from 1938, bearing a maker’s mark for Edgar Bishop.

Another super Hill bow, once the favourite bow of a well-known London professional – it’s unreservedly blingy, but also a great player.

The stick is octagonal section, of orange-brown pernambuco with a mild speckled figure. Mounts are gold and tortoiseshell. There is a date mark (38) on the handle, and the frog and stick have matching assembly marks.

The condition is very good, with no issues in the stick other than some minimal wear to the handle. The frog has two neat gold pins, one securing a small crack in the thumb projection, the other securing a re-glued corner on the audience side.

Hills tended to reserve gold and tortoiseshell for their best sticks, and this bow is a case in point. Sprightly and agile but very strong, it works beautifully off the string but it also has bags of grit, enough to get the most recalcitrant C string moving.

A great bow for classical repertoire, giving an almost surgical control over the staccato and the dynamics, but with plenty of power in reserve…

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