Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thursday Review: Lang's Fall 2009 Catalog

Thursday Review: Lang's Fall 2009 Catalog

This week's mail brought a very welcome present: the Fall 2009 multi-session Lang's Catalog on DVD. As this is the second year Lang's has utilized this new format for the catalogs; like the earlier version I found this to be easy to use and it definitely allowed me to "zoom in" on certain items.

Thousands of man hours go into the production of these catalog DVDs and it shows. Historically accurate (and interesting) text is interspersed with the catalog items themselves. Take for example Lot 1 -- an original A&F wooden sign. It is preceded by a nice one-page history. As I've written fairly extensively on A&F I can say that it's a nice synopsis of company history. What follows will certainly make any A&F collector go insane.

Since this is a review of the DVD Catalog and not the auction itself (which will come later, of course), I will refrain from freaking out over some of the individual items. Sufficient to say that I am utterly drooling over certain items as I write this.

The photography on the DVD is superb and allows for close inspection of the images through the previously mentioned zoom feature. The layout is clean and navigation a snap, at least on the Mac laptop. I didn't try it out on an IBM but assume that Acrobat Reader for Windows will likewise make navigation easy.

The highlights of the auction include the A&F items and the items from the author Norman Maclean, famed for the book and movie A River Runs Through It. Maclean family items including rods, signed books, etc. as well as items used in the filming of the movie itself have been put up for auction by Norman's son. I think these items alone will attract a nearly surreal amount of interest from hollywood collectors, let alone tackle maniacs.

Other items of great highlight include, as always, the selection of books and catalogs. Additionally, Lang's has really become the major outlet for tied flies from historic names such as Carrie Stevens, Ray Bergman, and Poul Jorgensen. There is also an unusually good selection of classic spearing decoys. And of course, Lang's always is a repository for fine angling art.

When it comes to rods, reels, and lures, well, since that is Lang's bread-and-butter the quality you come to expect is there. A great selection of rods includes a number by very hard-to-find makers, and the lures concentrate on spectacular examples of South Bend, Pflueger, J.T. Buel, Shakespeare, and misc. metal. The reels are perhaps the least amount (numerically) offered in the past few years, but as these things are cyclical (and because there were just so many in the past three auctions) this is not unusual. Plus, there are some phenomenal reels for sale.

With over 1500+ lots for sale, there are likely 10,000 or more pieces of tackle, ephemera, and tackle-related items in this auction. It should prove to be another firecracker of a sale. And the DVD catalog is well worth owning as both a preview of the auction, and as a reference tool.

The catalog is available on DVD and by download by Clicking Here. The Lang's auction takes place Nov. 06 and 07.

As an aside, please support the Holiday Inn Boxborough, MA tackle show which takes place on Nov. 05 and Nov. 06. Go to it and then hit the Lang's Discovery Auction. Information can be found by clicking here.

-- Dr. Todd

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