One of the most important bow makers in history, James Tubbs was born in London in 1835 and died there in 1921. Descended from a family of bow makers—a five-generational dynasty crafting bows from the early 19th century into the early 20th century—Tubbs trained and worked with his father William Tubbs until 1858, when he went to work for W. E. Hill & Sons. In 1864, Tubbs established his own business, housed in various London neighborhoods, where he would develop his own bow model based on those of François Tourte. His bows were owned by the most celebrated players of his time and won multiple awards, including a gold medal for a bow entered into the London 1885 World's Fair Exhibition. He was later appointed bow maker to the court of the Duke of Edinburgh. Tubbs further refined the designs of his bows throughout the 1890s, and his son Alfred joined his workshop for many prolific years until Alfred's death in 1911. James Tubbs continued to make bows up to his death at age 86.
Bows by James Tubbs are highly sought after by professional players and collectors.