Slip Sliding Away, or Those Bothersome Pegs

Slip Sliding Away, or Those Bothersome Pegs

Have you ever experienced a change in your cello pegs with the change in seasons? Andrew Bellis explains why. Pegs can be such trouble, can’t they? It is, of course, “old technology” going back hundreds of years, but cello pegs are surprisingly next to impossible to improve on. Choice of

Continue reading
The Bow – Part Seven The Other New World

The Bow – Part Seven: The Other New World

Welcome to the other New World – but Don’t Expect a Warm One – Oil-Derived Hair and Bows The Quest for Artificial “Horse Hair” The first “new materials” product for bows I became aware of was artificial “horse hair.” Of course, the very thought is now ridiculous. Still, for some

Continue reading

The Bow – Part Six: Bow Making in the Americas

Previously in our bow series . . . Having focused on Percival Wilfred Bryant and Lawrence Cocker in Part Five and a Half, I now bring you Part Six – an installment on how bow making developed in the Americas. As soon as you reach the third paragraph – if

Continue reading
The Bow - Part Five and a Half Percy Bryant and Lawrence Cocker

The Bow – Part Five and a Half: Percy Bryant and Lawrence Cocker

Previously in our bow series . . . Having teased you with the next-to-unknown (certainly in the USA) names of Percival Wilfred Bryant and Lawrence Cocker in Part Five, I thought it would be appropriate to explain why they should be appreciated more than they currently are – and not

Continue reading
A Change in the (h)Air: Bow Making and Climate Change

A Change in the (h)Air: Bow Making and Climate Change

For openers, I have to state that I’m writing this from the south coast of the UK. The weather/climate will doubtless be different where you are, but it may well be that changes in it are occurring there too. More Than Quirky British Weather I am not sure when I

Continue reading
The Bow - Part Five English Bow Making (Almost) Passes Away by Andrew Bellis

The Bow – Part Five: English Bow Making (Almost) Passes Away

Previously in our bow series . . . This article follows on from Parts Three and Four about the evolution of English bow making – read those first, please! In Part Three, about the original company W. E. Hill & Sons (“Hills”)*, I mentioned an extraordinarily talented workman who moved

Continue reading
The Bow - Part Four William Retford & Arthur Bultitude

The Bow – Part Four: William Retford and Arthur Bultitude

Previously in our bow series . . . In part 3, about the original company W. E. Hill & Sons (“Hills”)*, I mentioned an extraordinarily talented workman who moved into their new Hanwell (West London, UK) workshops in 1893 to help restart their bow making: William Charles Retford. Retford’s most

Continue reading
The Bow - Part 3: W. E. Hill & Sons, London - How to Start a Legend by Andrew Bellis

The Bow – Part Three: W. E. Hill & Sons, London – How to Start a Legend

A Forward-Thinking Luthier Around one hundred and fifty years ago, a talented, highly respected, forward-thinking violin-maker and restorer decided to expand his business more thoroughly than anyone before or since. As a result, William Ebsworth Hill (1817 – 1895) established the only prominent purpose-built workshop/factory for violins, violin accessories, and

Continue reading
The Bow Part 2 by Andrew Bellis

The Bow – Part Two: New Inventions – and a Trip to England

The French Take the Lead, Followed by the British By 1750, the French – having access to newly discovered South American woods – were pre-eminent in bow development thanks to the Tourte family, but the British weren’t far behind. The heavy timber being felled in Brazil and Guyana had a

Continue reading
The Bow - Part One: Beginnings

The Bow – Part One: Beginnings

Want to know more about the history of the cello bow? Look no further. This is the first in a series of articles about bow history by our new bow specialist, Andrew Bellis. Enjoy! – Dr. Brenda Neece, Curator Who invented the bow? I don’t want to start this series

Continue reading