Richard Lodge is not only the editor of four New England newspapers, he is also the editor of The Reel News and the author of the seminal work on raised pillar fly reels. Here is his list:
Besides the wealth of great Ernest Schwiebert artwork and books, and the fabulous rare flies by such legends as Reuben Cross, Art Flick, Herm Christian, The Dettes and even a Theodore Gordon fly, there are quite a few things that caught my eye:
1286: Early English Brass Spike Foot Trout Fly Reel. How often do you see a reel that just screams "I'm older than dirt!"? This is a cool old English reel from the days when you either clamped your reel on the rod or poked the reel's spike through a hole in the rod butt. This one will definitely go above the $300-400 estimate.
874: Early Metal Tackle Shop Fish Sign. This is a great piece of American folk art and would look great in any collector's display room. Hey, the catalog says it might be "an old repaint." Maybe that will keep bidders away so I can take it home!
And finally, 1252 Meisselbach Amateur No. 2 Horizontal Trout reel. This looks like a hybrid that I can't find in Phil White's excellent books on Meisselbachs. A sidemount Amateur with BOTH a front click and a finger brake? Talk about prototypes, this could be one of 'em.
1252: Meisselbach Amateur No.2 Horizontal Trout Reel
Jeff Kieny is one of the world's foremost experts in hooks and harnesses and folk art baits. Here are his great chocies:
No. 597 -- 1810 Book; Strutt - Sports of the People of England. What a great winter fireside read. While I'd be tempted to read the fishing section first, this is the type of book I'd happily read cover to cover...
No. 1427 -- Rare Patent Model Stuart Marked Reel and Rod ca. 1865 in it's original case. If a tackle collector were limited to only one object in his collection, this piece would make a great choice. What age and character. It's hard to imagine a more interesting or unique antique tackle item.
No. 1693 -- Oscar Peterson Fish Plaque. Wow, amazing detail and personality in evidence. Lots to study and appreciate. I just know I would never tire of it.
No. 1854 -- Adirondack Pack Basket. I've always loved to pick up interesting "go-with's". This basket has great color and a warm patina. It definitely ranks high on the go-with scale - even though my display area is limited, I know I'd find a place for it.
The panel of experts have weighed in with some inspired choices. While I do not claim the same expertise, I will weigh in with my eleven choices on what I found neat and interesting in this auction. They follow in no particular order.
741: Collection of Original Louis Rhead Ephemera. I love Louis Rhead and his work, and this is a neat compliment of his books, magazines, and original ephemera.
752: 1887 Thos. H. Chubb Fishing Tackle Rod Catalog. While most eyes will be following the 1907 Heddon catalog, it is this 1887 Chubb that has my attention. Well before the catastrophic fire that precipitated the sale of the company to Montague, this is Chubb at his height--one of the leading rod makers in the world. Plus the cover has that awesome Henshall-Van Antwerp Reel on it.
1204: Scarce Leonard Marked Bi-Metal Trout Fly Reel. One of the most coveted fly reels of all time is the Bi-Metal Leonard Trout reel. This is a beauty as it is uncleaned and unpolished. This is one of the 10 greatest reels ever.
1235: RARE Coin Silver Bradford, Boston Trout Reel. Coin silver reels are very rare, but add the Bradford & Anthony, Boston stamping and you get something really, really special. What a wonderful reel this is.
1282: McCulloch NY Nickel Plated Trout Fly Reel. Very little is known of James McCulloch of Rochester, New York. This makes this one of those trade reels that hopefully will spur the new owner to do some research and flesh out the history of this trade house.
1444: B.A & W Marked Brass Ball Handle Reel. This is an exceptionally rare Barton, Alexander & Waller trade reel from New York state. Someone will be going home with a truly rare trade reel.
1633: Rare Antique 9 1/2' Charles Wheeler Trout Fly Rod. Charlie Wheeler is one of the most overlooked of the great Maine rodmakers. This 9 1/2' model has wonderful eye appeal, and is the kind of rod you can only truly appreciate if you hold it in your hand.
1593: Rare Orvis Presentation Rod Owned by Clark Gable. I am not a big believer in "celebrity" fishing tackle, but I love this presentation set by Orvis not for its Clark Gable pedigree but for its incredible style and beauty.
1839: 2 Large Unknown Tuttle Musky Spinners. Of all the many Tuttle items up for sale, I found this incredibly scarce Musky spinners to be the ones I would go for.
2072: Charles Kellman Flyrod Minnow Lure. There is some incredible fly rod baits up for auction, but my eye was drawn to this little masterpiece by one of the all time greats: Charles Kellman of Detroit, Michigan. What an incredible piece.
2196: Empire City Top Water Bait in Box. This Abbey & Imbrie Empire City brand Decker-style bait is a tough one, especially to find in the box. A nice combo at probably an affordable price!
-- Dr. Todd