William Johnston was one of the first bowmakers to be employed by the Hill workshop. This is a published and highly collectable early example in near mint condition.

We are delighted to be offering a number of Hill bows from a great collection belonging to a former Hill maker. All of these bows are remarkable, but this viola bow is probably the purest example. It is represented in the book “The Hill bow Makers 1880-1962”, bow 18 pages 64 and 65.

The stick is of octagonal section dark orange pernambuco with a random figure – mounts are silver and ebony. The bottom plate and back plate are entirely pearl.

The condition is quite something – all chamfers and facets are razor-sharp, there are no dings or scratches, and the bow appears unused, even down to the original lapping.

I don’t suppose this bow is destined for heavy use, but it does play very well. Most early Hill bows are pretty faultless technically, and this bow is no exception. It’s a sprightly player, very responsive, but with a full sound – quite airy in character and ideal for chamber music. Excellent balance, very comfortable in the hand, and fresh as the day it was made…!

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