Violin Bow by James Tubbs, London, circa 1900
About James TubbsIn common with a great many other players, James Tubbs is one of my absolute favourite bow makers. Whilst it´s true to say that I´ve played plenty of weak Tubbs bows, it´s also fair to say that the very best of his bows play as well as the greatest French sticks. Thought to have made over a thousand bows in his career, Tubbs was a highly-skilled workman who prized output above all else.
It seems likely that Tubbs´ upbringing as the eldest of 11 children in a poor London household went someway towards creating such a ferocious work ethic. Tubbs initially trained with his father William Tubbs Jnr before starting his own workshop in the 1850s. Famously, he produced bows for W.E. Hill and Sons from around 1858: the relationship soured in later years and Tubbs was known to rebrand these sticks with his own Jas Tubbs brand whenever he got the opportunity! James Tubbs is often referred to as the `English Tourte´ and his impact on the development of the bow cannot be underestimated.
About the bowThe bow weighs 65 grams and the mounts are of silver and ebony. The round stick measures 730 mm in length.
How does it play?This is a fantastic bow, for my taste one of the best Tubbs bows I´ve ever played! Although on the heavier side of his output, the balance is such that the bow feels extremely manoeuvrable. The extra weight gives a gravitas to the sound, ramping up the power without spoiling the sound. I find this bow equally at home in flashy virtuoso repertoire and sumptuous Brahms, drawing out the best in the violin and giving a huge range of possible colours and articulations.
ConditionThe bow is in excellent condition.
CertificationIt comes with a 1993 J. and A. Beare certificate and is stamped Jas Tubbs on the player side of the stick.
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