Some shorter notes on the things that aren’t actually instruments I think.
By G. Werner, bought from the Violin Shop in Chester some time around 2005/6. Hexagonal cross-section, on the lighter and springier side of violin bows but you can go a lot further. It works well for playing off the string, which I prefer, and getting energy from attack and staccato – it was never supposed to be a Wagnerian unbroken fortissimo bow largely because that’s never been a style of playing I favour!
Bought from Simon Dubber of Witney at the same time as the viola. Made by D Carvalho, Brasil – apparently a very small outfit based on the outskirts of the forest (like it or not, good bows are still generally made from tropical hardwood) who sell direct to retailers in the UK and more or less go and cut down a tree when they need another one to start making bows from. So hopefully quite a bit more eco and pro-poor than some of the options on the market then, and those are both things close to my heart. Really a better bow by some way than I intended to fork out for at the time, but it made such a difference to the tone of the viola that I couldn’t resist getting it over a good but less special one about, er, half the price.