I shared a photo on all facebook, instagram and twitter earlier on today and asked people what they thought the ‘thing’ was that I had on my bench to repair. 

Currently, a couple of my musician friends on instagram have guessed, but nobody on facebook or twitter, so I thought I’d reveal what it is on my blog.

So.....drumroll......the strange mystery gold object is................ 

The ferrule from the frog (the bit that holds the hairs) of a violin bow! 

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So, this job came about because I’m a violinist myself and a couple of years ago, I had got chatting to the fab violin maker, Padraig O’dubhlaoidh (http://www.hillsarts.co.uk/hibernianviolins/) that lives near to me. I had taken my violin into him for a couple of repairs and when he found out what I did for a living, he told me about how he sometimes gets asked to repair the silver and gold parts of high quality bows. Well, a couple of weeks ago, this very thing happened and he asked if I would be able to fix a broken solder join.

He told me the maker was a guy called James Tubbs and I’m glad that I waited until after I’d done the repair to google him! Here’s what the good old inter web found out when I looked him up..........

 “...James Tubbs Bow maker (1835 – 1921)

James Tubbs was one of the finest and most prolific bow makers in the history of British violin making. His work rivals that of the finest French makers, and he is said to have made thousands of bows in his lifetime...”

As I returned the now fixed ferrule and frog to Padraig, he told me how much the whole bow was worth. I’m not going to share the number publically but I will tell you that it was big, and I ‘think’ may well be the most expensive thing I’ve ever worked on!!! 

Here’s a few pics of the repair ‘in progress’... 

The cracked solder join. 

The cracked solder join. 

 .

Not so shiny straight after soldering.  

Not so shiny straight after soldering.  

Cleaned up, now time for a polish. 

Cleaned up, now time for a polish. 

All finished! 

All finished! 

Close up pic of the finished repair on the James Tubbs bow. 

Close up pic of the finished repair on the James Tubbs bow. 

James Tubbs at his workbench in the shop at 94 Wardour Street, London. The photo taken in 1917 in his last years. (Thanks Wikipedia!)  

James Tubbs at his workbench in the shop at 94 Wardour Street, London. The photo taken in 1917 in his last years. (Thanks Wikipedia!)

 

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