Joseph Hill I
(1715 – 1784)
Born in 1715, Joseph Hill was the first of the great Hill family of makers, restorers and experts.His earliest known label dates from 1753 and states his address as "High Holborn" in London, but it is possible that he arrived in the city from Alvechurch as early as 1746. By 1761 his workshop had relocated to Pall Mall, and in 1765 he made one final move to Haymarket, where he remained until 1780, when ...Read More his oldest son Joseph II took over the shop. From about 1773 to 1776 Hill's Haymarket firm was known as 'Joseph Hill & Sons,' but the name was short-lived, and soon his six sons began working independently, five as violin makers. Hill died in 1784 and was buried in Hanover Square.
Hill is particularly known for his fine cellos, but his violas and violins are also of good quality. Violins are usually based on a Stainer model, but some Amati copies also exist. Interestingly, Hill intentionally varied the quality of his work depending on the nature of his commissions. He made trade instruments in addition to his more refined work, though he saved his best varnish for signed instruments.
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