Andrew Bellis - bowmaker
Andrew Bellis is Dorset's longest established violin repairer and bow maker.
What do I do?
I make new bows from the finest materials (pictured above is a violin bow finished early in 2009, 'Taperflex' © built cane stick with kingwood splices, mounted with horn and silver, for a professional player). Most of my bows are made from the now precious pernambuco wood of which I have stock seasoned at least 30 years in my ownership, since I started my business in 1980 having made my first bow in 1978. I also sell bows across the whole price range from student/beginner violin bows at £45 (that's cheaper than a rehair!) and upwards, but only those I'd be happy to use myself, to ensure they are 'value for money' at whatever price point.
As of Autumn 2023, I will no longer take on any new customers for instrument work. I am fed up (as are teachers) with trying to rescue instruments bought on line, and instruments bought from shops, where they are simply not adequate for use. Take or send them back.
Please note, for those visiting, my work days are Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; please make an appointment first by email to the address given.
Cost of bow rehairs can be found by clicking on the relevant button at the top of this page.
Other information will follow as I have the time to upload it. Thank you for your patience!
Some have kindly emailed me to say they find the site difficult to navigate. So I've redesigned it slightly. My apologies if it seems too 'wordy' - I am assuming you are looking for information, not just pretty photographs of bows.
* PLEASE NOTE* I have had to include some information about sending bows through the postal system, it is on the violin repairs page. Basically, please package them EXACTLY as I recommend.
IMPORTANT. It has become even more essential that you have your bow looked after well by someone who knows what they are doing. In 2018 we lost four bow makers/repairers, two due to ill health and two because it was no longer economically viable. England is now left with 6 bow makers/repairers. That is simply not enough to fulfil the needs of today's players. I could see this coming, and that's why I started teaching the craft along with rehairing in Oxford in 1991 for over ten years. Sadly I can no longer do this, as outlined on my 'Courses' page.
I'm seeing more poor rehairs on bows that I then have to rescue (if I can), I don't now who is teaching these workers or if they are self taught 'from the internet'. I wish they'd learn how to do it properly, other than copying the worst of foreign work.
In my newsletter I have put some recollections of the Bournemouth Youth Orchestra.
In 2012 'Andrew Bellis Number One', the first bow I made in my first workshop in Bournemouth and sold, (having made it for myself) returned home. Photos and text are here.
In 2015 I saw one fake Arthur Bultitude bow and heard about two others, and also two fake Hill bows, all stamped to deceive. See the last part of my newsletter.
Over the next months I will be adding a page or two of notes for those intending to set up instruments. I've realised a lot of knowledge has been lost about this skill and much is not taught at the various 'violin making schools'.
'The small print'
While it is Andrew Bellis’s intention to keep information up-to-date and accurate he cannot guarantee either. If errors are brought to his attention he will attempt to correct them promptly.
Andrew Bellis will not be liable for any damages of any kind arising from the use of this site, including but not limited to direct, indirect, incidental, punitive and consequential damages.
Copyright and the Use of Text and Image Files:
The text and image files that Andrew Bellis has made available on this web site (www.andrewbellis.com/) are intended to enhance public access to, and interest in, information about instruments of the violin family and the services that Andrew provides.
Andrew Bellis retains any rights, including copyright, he may have in data, image, text or any other information that these files may contain under the Copyright, Design and Patents Act (1988).
Any commercial use or publication of these Documents and Web pages are strictly prohibited without authorisation. Downloading of files for personal/study use is permitted, subject to any additional terms or restrictions that may be provided with an individual file, though Andrew would consider it polite if you asked first.