Hawks basses have a fine history. The first basses were made in conjunction with a French maker, one Paul Reviere, these are known under the name of "Reviere-Hawks", generally good and well made instruments but very much in the French style. In the late 1880's Hawks became Boosey & Hawks, and started to import basses made in Saxony. Violin cornered with flat backs. These are often very fine instruments having been made in the English tradition thus having very much an English sound, these were sold for the sum of £7-10s-00p, this also was sold with a bow. A little while later, in London Hawks teamed up with "Panormo" who's shape was introduced very successfully into very fine double basses. At this time the basses were being made in Denman Street in London and were sold for the princely sum of £35-00s-00p, this was with a bow, cover and music. Quite a buy even in those far off heady days. The bass shown in the pictures is a copy of the copy of Panormo. The distinctive Panormo shape but to clarify that it was something different it comes with outside liners. This instrument was also made in Denman Street c1904. A very fine bass with a very fine sound.
Pip Baily joined the Royal Marines in 1969 where he was expected to play the E flat Bombardon and the string double bass. Having studied the Trombone at school and reaching grade VIII was more than a little surprised when given these instruments to play in the Marines having never touched them before. But Pip was lucky enough to study under a delightful bass teacher, one Walter Dawtrey, who had been number 3 in the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Later in his career, Pip was lucky enough to meet and become friends with Ron Peters, who played in the London scene, mainly with sessions. Ron allowed Pip to play on his Vincenzo Panormo, which to many was considered to be the finest Panormo ever made. This inspired Pip to work hard and thus do well with the double bass. He lasted for nine years in the Royal Marines, then leaving he left the bass behind also. Twenty five years later Pip has decided that it is time to try again. Seeing the likeness that the "Hawks-Concert" had to that dream instrument of Ron Peters, there was no choice but to buy this instrument and start working with scales and exercises all over again. Pip came to Gallery Strings to try out this particular instrument. It was interesting to hear someone who had not played for so many years, yet could really get around it well.