WATERVILLE, N.Y. – Early fishing lures and reels and a scarce limited edition of A River Runs Through It are among the top catches at Lang’s Sporting Collectibles Inc.’s Fall Auction on Nov. 6-7. The online-only sale begins at 11 a.m. Eastern both days. LiveAuctioneers.com will provide Internet live bidding.
The copy of Pennyroyal Press’s 1989 release of A River Runs Through It, which will sell on the first day of Lang’s auction, is No. 10 of just 200. Issued without a dust jacket, the book has red leather backed marbled boards with an illustration inset on the cover. Both author Norman Maclean and illustrator Barry Moser signed the book. Maclean’s semiautobiographical novel about two brothers growing up in Montana was first published in 1976 and adapted into a film directed by Robert Redford in 1992. In near fine condition with the exception of water damage to the back top cover corner, the book has a $2,000-$3,000 estimate.
Another lot in the auction linked to an American author is a Zane Grey Teaser lure, manufactured by the South Bend Bait Co. The box indicates Grey, an avid fisherman, designed and approved the teaser for use in saltwater fishing. A letter of provenance states the teaser was gifted to Grey by South Bend and that it accompanied him on a 1939 trip to Australia. The 11 3/4-inch-long aluminum lure in like-new condition has a $2,000-$3,000 estimate.
An A.H. Fowler Improved Gem fishing reel bearing a June 18, 1872 patent date is a rare find, especially in excellent-plus condition. Because these reels were made of hard rubber they were fragile and few survived. Because the reel in Lang’s auction shows no signs of use, it carries an $8,000-$10,000 estimate.
Also carrying an $8,000-$10,000 estimate is a boxed second version of the famed Meek Model No. 44 trout reel made of German silver. B.F. Meek & Sons, Louisville, Ky., is thought to have introduced this reel in late 1899. The box, which is seldom found, is marked with the retailer’s name, Von Lengerke & Antoine, and has a guarantee card dated Feb. 17, 1914 inside. Also included is the original chamois reel bag.
The only known example of a C.H. Wisner musky-size casting reel made of German silver is another auction highlight. This saltwater size (3 7/8 inches in diameter and 2 1/8 inches wide) is marked “C.H. Wisner, Flint, Mich.,” and hand-marked “Pat Dec 12 – ’99,” on the 4 1/2-inch-long handle. The estimate is $3,500-$4,500. Wisner, a circuit-court judge, also invented a minnow trap in 1898 and a one-cylinder automobile called the Buzz Wagon that debuted in a 1900 Labor Day parade.
A nice example of a Comstock Flying Hellgrammite lure, considered by many to be the first wooden bait, is another rare find. The spaceship-shaped lure having red glass eyes is stamped on the wings “H. Comstock’s Pat. Jan 30-83 Fulton, N.Y.” The turned and ribbed wooden body is 2 1/2 inches long. It has a $4,000-$6.000 estimate.
Four important early paintings by J.L. Petrie will be sold in succession on the second day of the sale. Petrie is best known for his illustration of William C. Harris’ ambitious volume The Fishes of North America That Are Captured On Hook And Line, published in 1895. This 1890s painting of a trout, signed by the artist in script “J. L. Petrie” in the lower right, conforms to the size and quality of those painted for the Harris book. It has a $500-$1,000 estimate.
For details call 315-841-4623.
View the fully illustrated catalogs and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet during the sale at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE