Fishing lures reel in bidders at Miller & Miller auction

The top lot was this Chippewa spinner lure made around 1910 by the Immell Bait & Tackle Co. It sold for $10,030 Canadian, or $7,660 converted to U.S. dollars. Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. image

NEW HAMBURG, Ontario – Three Chippewa spinner lures made around 1910 by the Immell Bait & Tackle Co. of Blair, Wisconsin, brought a combined CA$24,780/US$18,926 and a clever Canadian-made circa 1930 Lurette No. 2 “living bait lure” was reeled in for CA$3,750/US$2,864—a new record price for the lure—at an auction held Oct. 19-20 by Miller & Miller Auctions. Ltd. Absentee and Internet live bidding was available through LiveAuctioneers.

Featured was the single-owner lifetime collection of fishing lures, decoys and reels of the late Bob Ronson. Around 700 of the 724 lots that came up for bid were from Ronson’s vast collection. Including the buyer’s premium, the two-day sale grossed more than CA$175,000/US$133,652.

Eight of the top 10 lots in the sale were Chippewa lures and 48 lots overall were dedicated to Chippewas (five were in the original boxes), a testament to their popularity with collectors. The top achiever was a Chippewa in green with back spotted sides, made of wood and in the original box (above). The lure, in very good-plus condition, sold for CA$10,030/US$7,660.

The runner-up lots were a Chippewa in fancy green back, in the box, made of wood and in very good-plus condition (CA$7,670/US$5,858); and a Chippewa in green with back spotted sides, in the box, made of wood and graded very good (CA$7,080/$5,407). Three rainbow Chippewas also cracked the top 10, as one example went for CA$3,245/$2,479 and the other went for CA$2,006/US$1,532.

The runner-up top lot was this Chippewa spinner lure with fancy green back, made around 1910, which sold for CA$7,670/US$5,858. Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. image

The Lurette No. 2 lure, made by Canada Needle & Fishing Tackle, wowed bidders with its unique and imaginative design. It was a “living bait lure” that boasted a glass bulb surrounded by hooks that were designed to tempt fish with a live crayfish or worm. The example offered, in the original box and with both sets of paper instructions, was in superb shape and made CA$4,425/US$3,381.

Lurette No. 2 lure, a ‘living bait lure’ with a glass bulb surrounded by hooks designed to tempt fish with a live crayfish or worm, sold for CA$4,425/US$3,381. Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. image

The auction also featured a Fred Pardee Kent double spinner (below), an F.C. Woods expert minnow, a Dam Ever Ready jointed sunfish, and various lures from Heddon, Creek Chub, South Bend, Paw Paw, AL&W, Lucky Strike, Pfleuger, Williams, DAM (Germany), Allcock, Jamison and Fred Arbogast; folk art and decoys by Tom Martindale, Carl Christiansen and others; plus rods, reels and ephemera by Malloch, Starback, Pezon et Michel and others also crossed the auction block.

Rare Fred Pardee Kent (USA) double spinner, made in 1902 and graded good. Price realized: CA$2,006/US$1,532. Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. image

Following are additional highlights from the auction. About 60 serious Canadian and American collectors attended the sale in person, while another 300 or so people registered to bid online. All prices include the buyer’s premium.

Vaughn’s cardboard lure box with paperwork (no lure, just the box), made by Henry J. Lewis & Co. in the 1930s, graded good. Price realized: CA$2,124/US$1,622. Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. image

A Vaughn’s cardboard lure box with paperwork (no lure, just the box), made by Henry J. Lewis & Co. in the 1930s, graded good, realized CA$2,124/US$1,622; a Lauby Lure (USA) Lake Trout Wonder Spoon (below), made of wood in the 1930s, in excellent condition, rose to CA$2,006/US$1,532; and a rare Fred Pardee Kent (USA) double spinner, made in 1902 and graded good, also finished at CA$2,006/US$1,532.

Lauby Lure (USA) Lake Trout Wonder Spoon, made of wood in the 1930s and graded in excellent condition. Price realized: CA$2,006/US$1,532. Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. image

“The auction was fast-paced, with bidders not afraid to jump in and bid immediately,” said Ben Lennox, a respected Canadian collector and a staff expert for Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. “It was a gathering of astute collectors who drove the price of key lots feverishly. The hunting and fishing collectible market is robust and we look forward to our next strong auction in this genre.”

To contact Miller & Miller Auctions Ltd. call them at 519-573-3710 or 519-716-5606 or email  info@millerandmillerauctions.com.