James Tubbs Violin Bow, London circa 1890

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James Tubbs Violin Bow
No-one would pretend that James Tubbs was a consistent maker, but his best bows are amongst the finest bows ever made. And this rare unmodernised example is unusually good…

We probably sell more bows by Tubbs than by any other maker, and for most people who’ve handled a good Tubbs there’s no looking back! His unique and much copied design achieved an ideal blend of utility and refinement. He was also a very prolific maker, and many examples survive – however, it’s quite rare to find one such as this with its original wedgeless ferrule, since the vast majority have been modernised.

This bow is what I would think of as the ideal Tubbs – a beautifully preserved example from his middle period, with a dark stained pernambuco stick and single pearl eye – typically broad in the head and long at the adjuster.

There are a few nibbles to the top of the stick but the overall condition is exceptional.

What makes a Tubbs so special? The easy answer would be the sound. A good Tubbs has a smooth, rounded quality to the tone which is unique – playing on a Tubbs gives a special sense of being connected to the sound. The sticks vary wildly in stiffness, but good ones such as this are highly versatile, elastic enough to really grip the string and produce an intense core sound, but also sprightly and easy to fling around. The overall impression of this bow is that you just get more sound, but without sacrificing agility. In brief, a highly collectable example but also a first-class player.

Mounts: silver/ebony

Dimensions: length 74.6cm, weight 62.7 grams

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James Tubbs Violin Bow base photo James Tubbs Violin Bow frog photo
James Tubbs Violin Bow head photo James Tubbs Violin Bow tip photo
James Tubbs Violin Bow ferrule  

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Ref: SR118

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