Arthur Bultitude is a highly respected English maker who spent much of his working life at Hills. On leaving the Hill shop he specialised in exquisite bows with ornamental frogs such as this lovely gold mounted viola bow.
The Hill shop has had such an enormous influence on English making, one might even say that after James Tubbs, the English bow is the Hill bow. Pretty much all the independent makers trained there and absorbed the Hill aesthetic, and Bultitude is the most Hill-ish of them all.
This is a very typical example of his work, a robust octagonal stick of speckled orange-brown pernambuco, and a beautifully worked frog with an inlaid tudor rose. Stamped on both sides of the handle.
The condition is very good – the only issues to report are signs of wear at the handle, a bit of erosion to the thumb projection, some corresponding thumbnail wear to the stick, and some minimal wear to the top facet of the handle.
This is a meaty bow drawing a massive, dark and mellow sound – lots of power but not sluggish. The balance point at 27cm pushes the bow onto the strings, and it’s easy work getting a long viola string moving.
This bow was the property of a fomer member of the BBC Philharmonic, and it’s an ideal bow for an orchestral professional.