Violin bow by W.E. Hill and Sons, London, circa 1930

Violin bow by W.E. Hill and Sons, London, circa 1930

About W.E. Hill and Sons

The English firm W.E. Hill and Sons was almost unchallenged as the world´s premier violin and bow dealership for almost a century, having been set up by William Ebsworth Hill in 1880. The family´s roots in the trade went back even further: William Ebsworth was the fourth generation of Hill violin makers. As accomplished in making as the Hills were, William Ebsworth was also a shrewd business man: in just seven years the Hanwell workshop grew into a major concern, employing a number of talented makers of instruments, bows and cases. Hill´s four sons were among their number.

Over the course of the next 100 years or so, the Hill name continued to grow in importance thanks to the publication of a number of seminal texts on the great makers and the fact that most of the world´s best instruments were being sold through the firm. The Second World War saw a number of Hill instruments being donated to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. This collection included Stradivari´s `Le Messie´, arguably the world´s most famous violin.

Hill bows are known for their consistently high quality. There was a strict hierarchy within the workshop, with new recruits beginning by making chin rests and working their way up. The standards in the workshop were very high: I´ve never played a Hill with an overly weak stick, a testament to the rigorous quality control which took place.

About the bow

This violin bow was made around 1930. It is no longer possible to be sure which maker´s stamp it bears but we can be sure of the date from its construction and materials.

The bow weighs 62 grams and the mounts are of silver and ebony. The stick is round in cross section and measures 727 mm in length.

How does it play?

This is a classic, good-quality Hill bow. It sits really nicely in the string and is slightly more flexible than some Hill bows. It produces a big, wide sound and is very well-balanced.


The bow is in very good condition. It bears the Hill stamp above the frog on the player side.

Further information

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More information

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