This is a fine gold mounted Hill bow from 1957, the stick made by Arthur Copley. It’s in excellent condition and its playing qualities are quintessentially Hill – unpretentious and utterly reliable!

Hill bows come in a wide range of qualities and materials, but we tend to stick to the WE Hill & Sons branded bows which have always been the firm’s best work. Gold mounts were reserved for the better sticks, so rather than just being a bit blingy, they are normally an indication of superior playing quality.

The stick here is of octagonal section orange-brown Pernambuco with a nice speckled figure, mounts are gold and ebony. The date (57) is stamped under the frog along with a letter B matching frog and stick. Copley’s mark (the number 1) is on the face. There’s also an “England” stamp behind the frog indicating that the bow was exported to the USA.

The condition of this bow is excellent, with no marks or blemishes other than two minor repaired cracks to the thumb projection of the frog and bit of wear to the top of the handle.

There’s not much to say about a good Hill – as you would expect, the balance and the camber are perfectly judged, neither too much of this nor too much of that, just a thoroughly competent bow made for a professional player. The sound is broad and centred, the spring is lively but not flighty – take this bow in your hand and you just seem to relax.

We have to pick our way through quite a lot of Hills to find the gems, but this is one of them …

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