Ref :   0870

A very good English violin bow by
James Tubbs
(1835 - 1921)
London, circa 1870

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This bow truly has superb playing properties which have seduced every violinist who has tried it. It simply does everything right and makes playing the violin a lot easier. As is often the case with this maker, it's a light bow, yet with remarkable firmness and steadiness, allowing for any tonal expression the player may ask for. Furthermore, this bow imbues any violin's tone with nobility and warmth, a kind of golden glow - often absent with other bows.

It is universally accepted that James Tubbs (1835-1921) ranks among the five or six most important bowmakers in history. The authority, Henley, calls him "this champion" and places him alongside Tourte, Peccatte and Voirin. String players generally regard his bows as very desirable, and will often go to great lengths to obtain one.

Henley says this about Tubbs, who was also appointed bowmaker to the Duke of Edinburgh: "Intimately acquainted with the minutiae or perfect balance, familiar with the diversified style of celebrated predecessors, trained by long study of all the laws, wisely assimilated suggestions from various violinists, brought a refined and mature tact in seizing all the bearings couched under strength and elasticity, imbued with a sincere love of artistry and profound reverence for its dictates, and withal, endowed with a natural gift of manipulative skill. Possessed every qualification peculiarly fitting him to produce everything replete with perfection."

This bow is in superb condition and it is old. A calculated guess would be that it dates from the 1870s. The grip area is so worn that the stamp is completely illegible and only one of the Bs can be made out and just barely so. It would require an expert's input to know for certain whether the button and frog are original to the stick, but close examination would suggest they are, particularly with reference to the characteristic shape of the ferrule.

Further to the matter of authenticity - the bow was certified as authentic by Charles Edward Smith who worked for Beare's in London until 1997. He issued a certificate for it in 1999 and has since passed away. At the time of acquiring this bow the certificate could not be found, since it was packed into boxes in deep storage. The hope is to find it soon, but will require a lot of work.

The stick is round, perfectly straight with impeccable camber and free from repairs. It is of dark brown Pernambuco. The tip is silver-mounted and all other fittings are of silver. The ebony frog has a simple mother-of-pearl eye. Although it has obviously been used a lot, it is in excellent condition.

The only drawback with this bow is that once you've played with it for a bit, no other bow feels right again!

Weight : 56.5 g

The Stick :
  Round pernambuco. Excellent condition, free from repairs, impeccable camber and perfectly straight.

The Nut :
  Ebony with a simple eye. It appears to be original, as does the adjuster button.

Mountings :

Lapping :
  Silver lapping. dark brown leather thumbpad, somewhat worn.

Tip Slide :
  Silver. Recent.

Condition :
  Excellent condition, free from discernable repairs. Outstanding playing properties.

Provenance :
  Withheld. Now owned by Johan Grobbelaar

Price : P. O. A.
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