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Any recognize the maker of this Hill bow?


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Your photo of the head with the hair lifted should have revealed the tell-tale maker's mark, but it's too blurry to see, especially if it's worn down a bit.  Can you get a sharper photo there?  I'm sure lots of folks here know the various code numbers and symbols.  As luck would have it, there's also a booklet with them on ebay just now:  https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bow-makers-marking-by-William-E-Hill-Sons-Booklet/264900864465 .

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1 hour ago, Andrew Victor said:

I don't have any idea! However, if you look under the frog you may find some code numbers and letters and if you report those back here someone might have "the  book" about Hill bows to decode them....

These numbers can indicate that the frog is original to the stick, but they do not indentify the maker.

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

Hill bows are a collective effort of the Hill workshop rather than the sole creation of a single craftsman, and I find the modern tendency to attribute the entire work to a single person, on the basis of a mark who did the stick, tiresome

Isn’t that why they had he identifying marks in the first place?
Yes, this guy would’ve made the frog and button And another guy would’ve roughed out the stick, but the guy identified by the marking would be considered the guy who did the bulk of the work and the most detailed and artistic work, so he gets credit.

Otherwise there would be no purpose to those markings. Why identify a maker if the effort was so collaborative that identifying a maker is meaningless?

I’m sure a lot of work goes into identifying the individual maker of a given Vuilluame violin. He certainly could make instruments, but he didn’t make the most of them, and it’s probably a lot of fun for people to look at an example and say who made it.

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3 hours ago, Richf said:

I can't tell if those are 2 pins or 2 stamped circles.  I think two circles would indicate William Richard Retford.  Hopefully someone here who has direct experience will chime in.

Those are pins.  The "dots", when present, look like engraved periods, not  circles.

To expand on what Jacob mentioned, not all Hill bows have a "makers mark", and some of the workmen can only be casually identified (guessed) by tool marks... and a good number seem to have frogs from one maker, a stick from another (*even though the letters match), and buttons that originated from a third party, etc. There are also tiny codes used to signify repairs to Hill bows performed in the shop and/or to show which slab cut bows received reinforcements in the head. I admit to having fun Identifying makers when possible, and when I was with  "the firm", we put together a collection of Hills by every maker we knew of pre '50s with the help of William Watson (#7).  In the end, I believe a good Hill is a good Hill, however.

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54 minutes ago, Jeffrey Holmes said:

Those are pins.  The "dots", when present, look like engraved periods, not  circles.

To expand on what Jacob mentioned, not all Hill bows have a "makers mark", and some of the workmen can only be casually identified (guessed) by tool marks... and a good number seem to have frogs from one maker, a stick from another (*even though the letters match), and buttons that originated from a third party, etc. There are also tiny codes used to signify repairs to Hill bows performed in the shop and/or to show which slab cut bows received reinforcements in the head. I admit to having fun Identifying makers when possible, and when I was with  "the firm", we put together a collection of Hills by every maker we knew of pre '50s with the help of William Watson (#7).  In the end, I believe a good Hill is a good Hill, however.

That’s all well and good, but the question remains: if the actual maker Is irrelevant, why use identifying marks at all?

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