James Tubbs Violin Bow London c. 1900 – Sterling with silver tip


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Prolific English bow maker James Tubbs (1835-1921) is seen as one of the greatest bow makers of the island. James Tubbs was the finest maker of a family with five generations of bow makers. Tubbs was born in London, the eldest of eleven children in a poor family. James learned the trade of making bows from his father, Willaim Tubbs Jr. (1814-1878). James Tubbs began working for Hill & Sons around 1858. This talented young man quickly won important awards for the famous English company. Yes, Tubbs worked for Hill & Sons of London but worked in his own shop, not at the firm. Hill & Son provided Tubbs with work and despite his difficult upbringing and a struggling early career Tubbs successes allowed him to move to new London flat and begin totally working on his own models and produce tons of sticks. He is said to have made close to 5,000 bows over 70 years of work. Wow. His output stands as some of the best bows of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. His bows rival those of the finest French makers of the same period.

Our bow is stamped JAS TUBBS and we have totally gone over the entire bow. The pernambuco bow is round in section, mounted in sterling. The sterling tip has a slightly taller nose to allow for the face to be pinned at the front. It is the original tip. The frog is a blind eye ebony frog and beautiful in my mind with the adjuster in sterling silver. The wood is choice and better than nice. The bow is a classic look and beautifully firm in playability. This bow has been in Mr. Judd’s collection since the early 1980’s – found in New York City while I was a young guy hunting violins and bows with my dad. There are hundreds of sticks still sitting in boxes waiting to be restored. I estimate about 600 bows still to complete. The Jas Tubbs bow is simply an over-the-top professional violin bow waiting for a fine player. This bow is a combination of total elegance and utterly functional.

Weight fully haired 58.0 grams.