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

Cello 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 set up by William Ebsworth Hill in 1880 and remained almost unchallenged as the world´s premier violin and bow dealership for almost a century. The Hill name was associated with fine instruments long before this: William Ebsworth was a fourth generation violin maker. In addition to his skill as a maker, W.E. Hill was also an excellent business man: in just seven years his 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. Hill bows are increasingly sought-after by professional players due to their excellent quality and reliability.

About the bow

The bow weighs 77g and the mounts are of gold and ebony. The round stick measures 691 mm in length. There are no maker´s marks present on the bow as the faceplate has been replaced.

The bow retains its original two coloured lapping: both this lapping and the gold mounts were reserved for the finest quality bows the workshop produced.

How does it play?

As expected, this is an excellent bow! It produces a large, rich and complex sound and is very well balanced. A relatively strong stick, this bow is reliable and interesting to play.


The bow is in good condition. It has a replacement faceplate, meaning that no maker´s mark is identifiable at the head.

Further information

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More information

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