WE Hill & Son Viola Bow, London circa 1950

£8,500

W E Hill & Son Viola Bow
Hill bows have a well deserved reputation for consistency of workmanship and for the quality of the sticks. The finest sticks were branded WE Hill & Sons, and the best of those such as this bow were mounted in gold.

This is a very well preserved Hill from 1949 with a wood to wood frog mounting – although this is a throwback to the early 19th century makers, it has remained popular with players because it seems to offer a tonal enhancement. For a long time Hills were the only makers who made bows without underslides – now it’s quite common amongst contemporary makers.

The bow is in mint condition – lovely to see a Hill which is so well preserved. The stick is of round section dark red pernambuco.

I find Hill bows to be a pretty mixed bag, and even the gold-mounted examples are more consistent in the quality of the work than in playability. But a good Hill is hard to beat. This bow is really good – not too stiff but with lots of bite. It delivers a big full sound with a lot of clarity, yet it’s easy to throw around, and it plays off the string with ease. To me the ideal bow is at once controllable and surprising – things just fall into place with this bow in a delightful way.

Mounts: gold/ebony

Dimensions: 74.7cm, 67.7 grams

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W E Hill & Son Viola Bow W E Hill & Son Viola Bow
W E Hill & Son Viola Bow W E Hill & Son Viola Bow


Ref: 5370


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