Another good Hill violin bow, this time the work of Sydney Yeoman – very well preserved, and a strong, smooth player.

The Hill bow is a real British institution – no other company or individual has produced such a quantity of bows over such a long period. This bow is yet another example of why they were so successful – solid craftsmanship, good materials, and a rigid adherence to the norms! Branded “WE Hill & Sons” denoting the best grade of wood and materials, it bears Yeoman’s mark to the face (a single notch in the lower edge of the mortise) – it also bears matching assembly marks to the stick and the frog. The lack of a date puts it before the mid 1930s, but I would say only by a few years.

The stick is of octagonal section mid-brown pernambuco with a beautiful figure – mounts are silver and ebony.

The condition is very good – there’s a bit of wear to the top of the handle and some thumbnail wear in front of the frog, but the stick is relatively unmarked.

It’s fair to say that not all Hill bows are great players, but we are lucky to be able to pick and choose. This one is very characteristic, a smooth and confident player with a big round tone. It’s an ideal bow for an orchestral professional, very comfortable in the hand, easy to control, decisive even in pianissimo passages. Slightly more supple than some, it still delivers a clean staccato.

A warm and elegant bow, and a great all-rounder.

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