Fine violin bows
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S306 “Hill”, Edgar Bishop, W. E. Hill and Sons, London, early-mid 20th century$ 5,000.00
Under the Hill bow-making workshop system, the individual makers were able to establish some sort of mutual recognition by stamping their own symbol or number on the silver tip face, under the hair. This bow is stamped “2”, identifying it as the work of Edgar Bishop, who began work as a Hill bow maker in 1918. The Hill family still retained some of the “Victorian” tradition of control over their workers – the identification system was officially a secret until the late 20th century. The bow feels surprisingly light in the hand for its weight, at 62.6grams. Like other early Hill bows stamped “Hill”, the bow performs very well, with a good bounce, clean articulation, and steadiness on the string in fast, light, full bow strokes.
“W.E. H. & S”, by W.E. Hill and Sons, London, early-mid twentieth century$ 7,000.00
This “Hill”, 2nd grade violin bow is typical of their workshop production in the first half of the twentieth century. A small nick in the silver tip face below the head mortice indicates the work of Sydney Braithwaite Yeoman, the bow workshop’s first apprentice, who joined the company in 1890 and who retired 55 years later, in 1945. The ebony frog has a full-length pearl slide and pearl back plate. The black whalebone lapping is original. The bow produces a full, warm sound and the spiccato is very well-balanced and precise.
Weight: 61.6 grams
B956 “W.E. Hill & Sons”, London, early-mid 20th century$ 7,000.00
The full stamp “W.E. Hill and Sons” indicates this is one of their first grade bows; the figure “3 ” on the tipface under the hair shows that this is the work of Albert Leeson, who worked at Hill from 1920 till his death in 1946. The pernambuco stick is octagonal, and the ebony frog has silver mounts. At 57.9 grams this is a relatively light bow, but it still pulls a warm, full sound.
B754 “Bourguinon à Bruxelles” Belgium, mid 20th century$ 7,660.00
This beautiful bow has been reliably attributed to the French bow maker Marcel Lapierre, but bears a dealer’s stamp. The octagonal stick is of well-selected pernambuco and the tortoiseshell frog has silver mounts.
S304 Louis Morizot, stamped “Collin-Mézin”, France, early-mid twentieth century.$ 8,750.00
Violinists are mostly familiar with violins produced by the workshops of Charles Jean-Baptiste Collin-Mézin and his son of the same name. Less well-known is the fact that the Collin-Mézins also sold bows, although they didn’t employ an in-house bow maker. Instead, as was common in France at the time, they purchased bows from an independent bow maker, in this case the now-renowned Louis Morizot, and his four talented bow-making sons.
This is a beautiful player’s bow, smooth and silky on the string but with an effortless articulation in awkward string crossing passages, and an exciting sautelé. At 62.4 grams, it has enough weight to pull a big sound, while the balance makes it feel light in the hand. The frog has a fairly typical Morizot rounded back.
Weight: 62.4 grams