Cello by Joseph Hill, London, 1770

This cello is a distinctive example of Joseph Hill's work. It appears to have taken inspiration from the work of William Forster, who had become increasingly prominent in London around 1760. The Amatise-style arching is heavily influenced through Forster's work, as is the highly refined workmanship and to a lesser extent the colour and texture of the varnish. The sound holes are nonetheless completely typical for Hill, and are of a pattern that he adapted for all his violins, violas and cellos. This instrument is characterised by very tight grains in the front and features a beautiful and refined tone with a myriad of colours throughout each register.

Joseph Hill (1715 - 1784) was the first of the great Hill family of makers, restorers and experts. His earliest known label dates from 1753. By 1761 his workshop had relocated to Pall Mall, and in 1765 he made one final move to Haymarket, where this cello was made, and where he remained until 1780, when his oldest son Joseph II took over the shop. Hill is particularly known for his fine cellos.