William Ebsworth Hill

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William Ebsworth Hill
Born 1817
Died 1895
Occupation(s) Luthier, businessman

William Ebsworth Hill (1817–1895) was a noted London violin maker and founder of the firm W. E. Hill & Sons.

Son of the violin maker Henry Lockey Hill, he came from a long tradition of violin makers, going back to his great grandfather Joseph Hill. He started making at the age of 14 in the workshop of his father, alongside his brother Joseph Hill II, and was soon entrusted the important job of cutting bridges and setting up instruments for the family workshop. After the deaths of his father and brother, he worked briefly for the violin maker Charles Harris, at Oxford, before returning to London to work under his own name, eventually becoming internationally recognized as W. E. Hill & Sons. He did not individually produce many instruments but gained a reputation for excellence in restoration of important instruments as well as their authentication.[1]

In 1881 he appeared at a court case in London where he exposed Georges Chanot III who has applied a fake Carlo Bergonzi label to a violin which he then sold as genuine.[2]


  1. ^ Henley, William (1973). The Universal Dictionary of Violin and Bow Makers (2nd ed.). Brighton: Amati Pub. Ltd. 
  2. ^ Chanot biography on the Corilon website

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