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Argon55

Garner Wilson Bow

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I have a lovely Garner Wilson gold-mounted violin bow which is pre-owned. I suspect it's 20-30y old but have no way of telling for certain. Under the handle of the bow, normally covered by the slider of the frog and forward of the mortise, is a three digit number stamped into the wood ("386"). I'm interested in what this number means.

Perhaps it was the 386th bow he made or was made in March 1986?

Does anybody here know what system Garner Wilson used for numbering his bows?

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Hi Argon:

I have a gold and ivory  mounted bow that Garner Wilson made for me in 1973, and it has the number 303 on the stick, under the frog.  He left Hills in 1966, which would have been 7 years prior.  I suppose that means that he was numbering them sequentially from that date, and producing over 40 a year.  It sounds like a lot, but I suppose it is possible.

If I'm right, then your bow would be from about 1975.  The cost would have been  85 pounds, plus 2 pounds for shipping!

I've always liked his work.

Ed

 

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Me too - I used to order bows directly from Garner who was living and working in Scotland.

I have a couple of bows of his here - the one I looked at is numbered 202. I suppose it could be from 1970 but I didn't think it was that old.

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Thanks for the information guys. Certainly sounds like an incremental number. And based on your info Ed, a date of 1975 sounds broadly right. Didn't think it was that old but very interested to know.

They are lovely bows aren't they and still fantastic value. Mine draws a lovely legato tone from my violin and spiccato feels almost effortless (compared with my old bow at least) and it's very well balanced. 

I was last in Inverness in 2005 and greatly regret not calling in to see him in Dingwall to buy or commission a bow.

Al

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