• Blacker sells for £15,000

    by  • November 9, 2012 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    An 1842 variant second issue of William Blacker’s Art of Fly Making that sold for £15,000 (excluding 20% buyers’ commission) was the highlight of an auction of sporting books at Bloomsbury Auctions in London. Others to make good prices included a presentation de luxe copy of John Waller Hills’ 1924 A Summer on the Test from the author to his wife, which reached £4800;  a 1937 first edition of William Baigent’s A Book on Hackles for Fly Dressing, one of 65 copies, which made £2600; an author’s presentation copy of TE Pritt’s Yorkshire Trout Flies (1885), £1900 and Roger North’s A Treatise on Fish and Fish Ponds (1824), which sold for £1400. A long letter from Warington Baden-Powell, eldest brother of Robert, the founder of Scouting, with illustrations of flies and an Allcock card advertisement for Baden-Powell’s Prismatic-coloured gut salmon flies, with eight flies, made £2800. But many lots went unsold, including one of 30 de luxe copies of Leonard West’s 1912 The Natural Trout Fly and its Imitation. and the very rare c1804 The Kentish Angler, reflecting the very flat state of the classic books market. Have we seen too many exceptional sales over the past decade, swamping the market, or is there a deeper problem? Your views welcome. A full auction report appears in the next Classic Angling.


    Editor and publisher of Classic Angling magazine. Founder member of UK Angling Writers' Association and current chairman. Former winner of Writer of the Year. I wrote a weekly angling column for The Independent for 23 years, having previously written columns for The Guardian and Sunday Mirror. If it swims, I'll fish for it: marlin or mackerel, trout or tench, salmon or snook. I've written several books on fishing, from one for the Duke of Edinburgh's award to the notorious Catchmore Sharks (don't look at the pictures) and Bob Nudd's autobiography, How to be the World's Best Fisherman. I love exotic travel for fishing (been to Mongolia and Ecuador, the Great Barrier Reef and Arunachal Pradesh) and wish I could afford to do such trips more often. My favourite fish? Anything with fins, though I have a special love for mahseer, and I'm chairman of The Mahseer Trust.

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