W. E. Hill & Sons violin bow by Bishop/Leeson

W. E. Hill & Sons violin bow by Bishop/Leeson


Silver mounted ebony frog by Albert Leeson with Parisian eye and standard silver button, both correctly matched to the round stick (with imitation whalebone lapping) made by Edgar Charles Bishop in 1938 and stamped W. E. HILL & SONS in the usual place, also stamped ENGLAND on the bottom facet between the frog and the button, indicating the bow was for the export market.  57.4 grams


The round stick has unusual characteristics for the period, suggesting that this bow may have escaped the attention of William Charles Retford while in the Hanwell workshops.  This bow is in outstanding condition and is all original apart from the lapping.  Despite its light weight, the bow feels elegantly heavy and strong and produces a very powerful sound, typical of the maker’s work.  Edgar Bishop (1904-43) was in our opinion, the finest interwar bowmaker at W.E. Hill & Sons, eclipsing that of his mentor, William Charles Retford.  It has been in our long-term ownership for professional use.  The previous owner was a medical doctor who played as an amateur, who also had long-term ownership of the bow, and was likely its second owner from new.

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