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Massive subject!

The best Tubbs bows are unequalled, the majority of middle period bows are splendid and very characteristic, a lot of later bows are unusable whippy things.

The joke I have with Pierre Guillaume is that Tubbs made a bow a day and drank a bottle of whisky a day. The question is always which of the two did he finish first ....

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28 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Massive subject!

The best Tubbs bows are unequalled, the majority of middle period bows are splendid and very characteristic, a lot of later bows are unusable whippy things.

The joke I have with Pierre Guillaumeis that Tubbs made a bow a day and drank a bottle of whisky a day. The question is always which of the two did he finish first ....

Thank you Martin! I saw that you have some nice Tubbs bows for sale! 

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47 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Tubbs in particular ...

Middle period would be more defined for me by standard length sticks, the use of the Jas Tubbs brand, and the presence of a single pearl eye

Would you say that, in general, his middle period bows are more of a consistent quality? 

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Not really. I think he was very inconsistent throughout his working life, but post 1890 seems to be a higher proportion of very weak sticks.

I suppose the best advice is that you have to try a Tubbs. A good one is an extraordinary thing but many are indifferent and quite a few are unusable.

For example I would never buy one blind at auction or on the basis of photos - doesn't matter when it was made or how much chased gold it has on it ;)

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26 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Not really. I think he was very inconsistent throughout his working life, but post 1890 seems to be a higher proportion of very weak sticks.

I suppose the best advice is that you have to try a Tubbs. A good one is an extraordinary thing but many are indifferent and quite a few are unusable.

For example I would never buy one blind at auction or on the basis of photos - doesn't matter when it was made or how much chased gold it has on it ;)

Thank you for your detailed post! Have you had a chance to look at the February Tarisio auction? Any bows or violins you got to try? Would be curious about your opinion! 

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A colleague recently bought a beautiful Tubbs for a whopping 20k. We were sitting together for a couple concerts. We both have Caron cellos( he’s the reason I bought my own) and we’re constantly trading bows during rehearsal. it was fascinating to feel and hear the difference between his Tubbs and my Gillet. 

Its like they both achieved everything possible but in different ways

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39 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

I was researching Hill bows yesterday, and the first thing I saw when I went to one website, was a picture of James Tubbs.

But more than one person has assured me that Tubbs never worked for the Hills.

He did make bows for them and did work for them, but one of the most precious things that I have ever seen was a bow that he had stamped his name over the hill stamp and his brand on the opposite side.

One account that I read detailed that his daughter would pick up and return work, but it seems that the vitriol between the Hills and Tubbs was strong. 

I play a repaired one since I could never afford one without a break.

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Tubbs made bows for the Hill firm as a contractor. I believe I read that the double-stamped bows exist because Tubbs would stamp his name over the Hill brand whenever a bow came to his personal shop, where he wasn’t obliged to use the Hill brand. I don’t know if there was any animosity or not—it might just be that he took the opportunity to put his name to his work when he had the chance to get more exposure. 

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7 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

I was researching Hill bows yesterday, and the first thing I saw when I went to one website, was a picture of James Tubbs.

But more than one person has assured me that Tubbs never worked for the Hills.

According to Retford, Tubbs worked in the workshop of WE Hill from around1860-70, then moved out to his own workshop where he continued to work for Hill doing repairs and rehairs (and possibly supplying the odd bow).

The "Hill bow" as we know it, started in 1880 with the establishment of the firm of WE Hill & Sons and the employment of Sam Allen.

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