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James Tubbs (1835 - 1921) is recognised as one of the greatest English bow makers. Trained by his father William, he worked in Soho on his own, and also for W. E. Hill & Sons. In the 1870s he became bow maker to the Duke of Edinburgh. He took semi-retirement after 1890. After the death of his son and pupil Alfred in 1909, James returned to work until his own death and was assisted in the running of the business by his daughter-in-law Jane.

His work is prolific and distinctive with the bold head and long ferrule. This bow is in very good condition, is dated to c.1880 and weighs 64g



Stick: pernambuco (Paubrasilia echinata)

Mounts: silver, ebony (Diospyros spp)

Pearl: pink/green abalone (Haliotis spp)

Thumb band: kangaroo leather (Macropus giganteus)

Lapping: silver tinsel

Face: silver

James was an advocate of full-thickness ebony tongue on his bow frogs, thereby avoiding the need for a wedge to keep the hair spread, but most of his bows have subsequently been adjusted to facilitate easy rehairing. This lovely example retains its original full-thickness ebony tongue as well as its original screw and eye.

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