William Napier joined the firm of W.E. Hill & Sons in 1889 after apprenticing as a pianomaker with the Broadwood firm. His cello bows are his most highly regarded work, the best of which are of a similar quality to those of his colleague at the firm Samuel ...Read More Allen. In general, his violin bows are less supple and refined than other Hill makers' and are not based on the Tourte model favored by Alfred Hill. Napier managed the Hill workshop for over 40 years despite constant discord between him and William Retford. His son Frank is credited with establishing a new production process with Retford after WWI, which employed specialized metalworkers for fittings. Napier's bows are unmarked.
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