• Rare books in London auction

    by  • November 7, 2012 • Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    Some very rare and early angling books, including an 1842  variant second issue of William Blacker’s Art of Fly Making, come up a sale of sporting books at Bloomsbury Auctions in London tomorrow (November 8). The Blacker, with 31 flies attached with silver paper seals, will be interesting to watch because an 1843 copy of Blacker’s Catechism of Fly Making set a record for the author by selling for £155,000 at Bonhams earlier this year. This one is estimated at a more realistic £15,000-£20,000. The books were formerly owned by bibliophile John McKinley, who died in 2002. These have been in the family since. Most of his books were sold when he died, but the family decided to keep some special volumes. When his widow died last year, his daughters decided the time was right to part with them. Other rarities include a fine example of WH Aldam’s 1875 A Quaint Treatise on Flees, a de luxe edition of Leslie Magee’s 1994 Fly Fishing:The North Country Tradition; an author’s presentation copy of TE Pritt’s Yorkshire Trout Flies (1885) and one of the 30 de luxe copies of Leonard West’s 1912 The Natural Trout Fly and its Imitation. One fascinating lot is a long letter from Warington Baden-Powell, eldest brother of the founder of Scouting, which comes with illustrations of flies and an Allcock card advertisement for Baden-Powell’s Prismatic-coloured gut salmon flies, with eight flies (pictured). Many classic works are among the collection, from the 1804 The Kentish Angler and Thomas Bailey’s c1720 Fishing and Hunting to a de luxe copy of Frederic Halford’s An Angler’s Autobiography and a presentation de luxe copy of John Waller Hills’ 1924 A Summer on the Test, from the author to his wife. McKinley owned one of the world’s finest private libraries of antiquarian angling books, which he collected for more than 40 years. He even took a university book-binding course so that he could restore books that he acquired to his own standards of excellence.


    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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