Viola Bow by Samuel Allen
Joined W.E.Hill & Sons around the time of its foundation in 1880. Possibly Great Britain’s finest and most influential bow maker. Allen was taught bow making by Emile Bazin, who was bought into Hills to help establish a bow-making department after James Tubbs left.
His Tourte influenced bows formed the inspiration of “The Hill Bow”. An operatic singer and cabinet maker, it is thought he may have taught himself the fundamentals of bow making before being recruited by the Hills for the workshop in Hanwell, west London, and is known as one of its finest craftsmen. His early work is strongly influenced by James Dodd II, and he is noted for making all the parts himself which became uncommon after his departure. His pupil at W.E.Hill & Sons was Sydney Yeoman. He left in 1891 and established his own business in St John’s Wood, London, moving to Bolsover Street in 1897. Allen took no pupils – indeed, after his departure in 1891 he was told to leave behind various tools that he had made in the work’s time, but Yeoman and (later) Retford couldn’t figure out what they were for. Yeoman was at Hills when Allen was there, Retford wasn’t. Samuel Allen was 41 years older than Sydney Yeoman which would have seemed incomprehensible to the teenager (Yeoman b.1876, joined Hills age 14, only overlapped with Allen for two years max – 1890 and 1891), and initially, he was only doing lowly workshop tasks – but I bet he stopped to look at the work.
The octagonal stick of an orange-brown colour, silver-mounted ebony frog inlaid with Parisien eye, plain silver adjuster.
Stamped ‘S.ALLEN’ on the shaft
Delivery & Returns
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Bridgewood & Neitzert LTD
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