Saturday, November 3, 2007

Lang's Auction, Part IV: The Results (Live)

OK here we go, another full day of Lang's auctions! Today we start with the bamboo fly rods, and I expect a lot of action on the classics--Payne, Edwards, Leonard, etc. The first Payne rod comes in at $1900, interestingly, eBay appears to be down at the moment so I can't check particulars. Wonder if this is affecting bidding. As a multibillion dollar firm, I fully expect this to be fixed in moments.

Working fine now...but I wonder if there is a lag in the ending bid and the absentee bids? Some of the rods are finishing at strangely low prices; both a Leonard and Payne fell far below auction estimates as of the posting on the eBay web site. Perhaps this is the same situation as last night.

In the meantime, let me entertain you with a little ditty:

There once was a Leonard from Maine
Who told an apprentice named Payne
You may have your youth
But the God's honest truth
Is that I am the master of Cane

Well, that wasn't very entertaining, was it? Dr. John Elder, Steve Vernon, and Bob Miller would be so disappointed.

A Payne 202 just hit the gavel for $2200. That's more like it! Take that Mr. Leonard.

A Stan Bogdan reel just went down for $1900. Two sets of McPherson flies went for $1200 per. Not bad.

By the way, if you're not watching this on eBay Live, you are missing out! Go to any Lang's page and click "View Live."

Lots of fishing and outdoor-related prints coming up now. Many of these are going for reasonable prices, $125-$500.

The Billinghurst is coming up...but not before a great Vom Hofe went for $3750 with some spirited floor bidding. Whoah. Now we're cooking! 8 straight reels over $1250! The Billinghurst at $1500, a Leonard Bi-Metal for $4600. A Coates two-speed for $4250. Moving on to some lots of multiple reels, some pretty good deals to be found. I think today and tonight, one can get a bunch of really good deals buying reels in lots of 3-10. Although not all were bargains; Phil White must have smiled at the two Meisselbach Gogebics that went for 50% above auction estimates.

The Winchesters are up now, and they are bringing prices ranging from $75-$200 each. They are popular reels, and this is quite an extensive selection of them.

Now for the high quality stuff. The Leaver's casting reel went for $4500 after serious floor bidding, the Wisner for $3250, and the JF and BF Meek came in under auction estimate at $2700. The Meek & Milam #5 just hit the gavel after 21 floor bids at $5200, well over 2 grand over estimate. Wow! The Meek & Milam #4 just hit double the auction estimate at $4900. This is turning out to be a very good day for the Kentucky Reels, which seem to appreciate 10% every year. For those keeping track that's $26,250 for the past 10 reels...

The Heddons came in below auction estimate, in part because i thought the estimates were too high on both of them. Some great lots of Montagues and other reels coming up now too...The Meeks keep exceeding expectations. Just spoke with J.K. Garrett watching from Maryland, he agrees with me that this auctions shows a marked upward trend in prices. This bodes well for collectors in general.

Lots of really high quality, moderately priced reels going now. These are the lifeblood of the collecting world, and its a pleasure to see them going into the hands of people who will enjoy them. Love those Montagues, Hortons, Heddons, Winchesters, etc.

As I just finished a VL&A article for the next NFLCC Magazine, I was excited to see the lots of VL&A reels attract some interest. Lots of great deals in these big lots of reels, as I suspected there would be. I think a lot of reel collectors will be upset they didn't place some internet bids...

Some big ticket items back on the blocks now. A Bogdan set of anniversary reels for $5500 got some people's attention. A couple of Vom Hofes in the four figure range, and the Lee Wulff Restigouche for $1900 and $1200, respectively. Strange doings...the Saraccione set went for half the auction estimate, while the Fin-Nor #4 Wedding Cake came in at an astounding TRIPLE the high auction estimate--$9000!

One of the pieces I profiled below--the Hardy Zane Grey--just came in at $10250. A true beauty. A Kovalovsky 14/0 just went for $8500, or around twice the price of a picture of a Kovalovsky reel (see yesterday's blog). The Guy-Ra-Tory reel went for $2000, above high estimates.

The Mitchell Salesman's case just hit 29 bids and $5200. Got to be a record for a Mitchell item!

The fly rods are back up on the block, and some real high end items are flying off the blocks. A Lyle Dickerson fairy wand went for $4100, a pair of Paynes for $2600 and $2700, and a Leonard for $2400. A Hiram Hawes 10' fly rod just wenrt for $1300. In a bit of a surprise, a 7' Wright & McGill Granger Fly Rod went for $1400, about 25% above high auction estimate.

On to the Lee & Joan Wulff section, a lot of items owned by these IGFA Hall-of-Famers. A custom made Florida Tycoon Wulff Tackle rod went for $700, a good price that was nearly twice the auction estimate. Joan Wulff's recent induction into the IGFA Hall-of-Fame could not have hurt the prices of this section of the auction.

The misc. items are coming up next, and some nifty items will be on the block. First up are some hand-tied flies, and 13 by Megan Boyd just sold for $900, while one single Boyd tied Atlantic Salmon fly just went for $250. A nice E.Vom Hofe Streamside Fly and Tool Kit just went for $600, about double the pre-auction estimate. A nifty Leather Trimmed Split Willow Creel went for $1600.

Get ready for the surprise of the auction--the Pflueger reel display. This was purchased at an earlier auction about a year ago, if memory serves me right (I think in North Carolina). 34 bids and $4500 later, this baby became a centerpiece of someone's Pflueger collection. To me the highlight of the auction so far (pre-auction high estimate was $600).

The CCBC Stoneware jug sold for $550, and a beautiful 1894 Hemphill's Bait Bucket sold for $1200. A really nice Early Michigan Fish Decoy went for a cool $1000, the high water mark for the few decoys in this auction. Some nice fish carvings are selling well, including a Brook Trout Plate by Jim Nelson for $650, over triple the pre-auction estimate.

Some really neat items coming up now. An Orvis catalog #21 sold for $300, a lot of early BASSmaster magazines for $500, the Peach Oreno papers for $125, and and Allerton Brook Trout Fishing Book for $800.

All I can say is: WOW. The Kingfisher advertising poster went for $5850, while the gorgeous Bristol Horton ad went for $2750, quadruple the auction estimate (which I thought was way too low). The original Oliver Kemp painting used by Bristol went for a cool $10,000--a third of the auction estimate. An original Louis Rhead trout painting came in at $2900, below the pre-auction estimate. Turning out to be a bit of a weak market for the paintings.

Get yourself a drink, take a quick break, and in about 15 minutes the Haskell Minnow goes to the auction block. The Haskell finished with 11 bidders and $30,000--the low auction estimate but still within the range. I thought this might go higher. The Smith Wiggletail came in at $10,000 and the Hosmer Mechanical at $12,500. The first six lures in this section brought nearly $60,000.

The Minnow tubes seem to be going a bit on the low side, with a Detroit Glass Minnow Tube selling for only $100, and a Welch & Graves for only $275. Not much in the way of great folk art in this particular auction, but the exception was the two neat brass minnows--one went for $325 and the other for $825. This was followed by a $1200 Chippewa, over twice the pre-auction high estimate. Chippewas are the Kentucky Reels of the lure world--appreciating every year. For contemporary bait fans, the Macatawa baits came in over the auction estimates, establishing the fact that there are a lot of collectors of these lures.

GO NAVY!!! 46-44. Unbelievable game. Notre Dame flames out, 43 game losing streak is over. GO MIDDIES!!!! But I digress.

Awesome Heddons going to the block now, Slopenose for $2600, Swimming Minnow for $1500, Slope in picture box for $2100, and a 159 in box for $1600. Is it possible to fall in love with a fishing lure? I think I have a crush (at least) on the Heddon Goldfish Baby Vamp Lure that went for $1100. The Rainbow Zaragossa went for $950.

Late in the second day, many bargains can be found, and today was no exception. Some of the Heddons came in at buyer's prices, including a Heddon Big Mary Saltwater Minnow for $75. A lot of the late Heddon items were, while not cheap, certainly a good deal in which the buyers will not be complaining.

This is my favorite part of the auction, because these are the bread-and-butter lures that the majority of collectors want. Lots for even the modest budget here, so anyone who says Lang's is only for the deep pocketed is flat wrong. 2 Heddon 150s for $225? That's within most of our budgets.

One of the big hits of the late auction was the South Bend Truck Oreno, which came in at $2800. A beautiful 3-hook Pflueger Monarch was also a popular bait at $1100. Pflueger tackle has been making strong increases the past two years. A beautiful Shakespeare Minnow Lure in Wood Box went for $2200.

With the NFLCC Patch auction ending for $300, the Fall 2007 Lang's Auctions is in the books. Thanks for checking in and following along! Tomorrow I'll have some final thoughts, for those interested. It was sure an amazing two days!

--Dr. Todd

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