W. E. Hill & Sons viola bow, early 20th century
Since its establishment in London in the mid 18th century, the Hill family workshop has flourished for over 250 years as the oldest continuously operating violin firm in England, and one of the most important in history. Under the direction of William Ebsworth Hill (1817-1895), the company was renamed in 1880, when he was joined by his four sons, William Henry (1857-1927), Arthur Frederick (1860-1939), Albert Ebsworth (1865-1940), and Walter Edgar (1871-1905). As leading experts on historic Cremonese instruments, the Hill workshop handled the restoration and sales of the world's finest instruments and bows.
Particularly known for their bows, W. E. Hill & Sons employed numerous top bow makers, including James Tubbs (1835-1921), Samuel Allen (1838-1914), Frank Napier (1885-1969), Albert Leeson (1903-1946), Edgar Bishop (1904-1943), William Charles Retford (1875-1970), and Malcolm Taylor (1934-2012), among numerous others.
Today, the W. E. Hill & Sons workshop resides in the historic Burgh House in Hampstead, London, where it resumed crafting new instruments and bows in 2018. Under the direction of violin makers Stefan-Peter Greiner and Robert Brewer Young, bow maker Derek Wilson, and the managing directors of J&A Beare, Simon Morris and Steven Smith, the firm once again offers the excellence of an enduring English tradition.