Monday - 08 February 2016

Rare Aerial reels in £6600

04 December 2004Written by Roland Arkell

A HANDFUL of factors make this Coxon Aerial fishing reel among the best of its type.

Dating from before the First World War, it is relatively early for this famous coarse fishing reel that was first launched by Allcock's in 1896. With its rare 'roller back' mechanism (a series of four small rollers recessed in the mahogany back plate) it is both technically interesting and - given the tendency of the reel to jam in the wet - very rare.

It was also in superb condition, surviving complete with its original box printed with the name of John Forrest who had shops in both London and Kelso. Forrest was probably the retailer for Allcock's of Redditch who did not mark the reel.      

Another rare Coxon Aerial sold recently at Angling Auctions of Chiswick for £3800 but this example set a new benchmark for the model at the antique and modern fishing tackle sale conducted by South Shropshire specialist auctioneers, Mullock Madeley (15% buyer's premium) at Ludlow racecourse on November 20.

With several bidders still in the running at £5000, it sold at £6600 to a UK collector.      

Alongside some strong prices for fixed spool thread-line reels - five Dingley of Alnwick dry fly reels with original dark lead finishing trebled hopes at £980 - the other talking points of the sale were provided by elements of the Sawyer collection.

Frank Sawyer, who worked as the river keeper on the Wiltshire Avon, was a legendary fisherman and fly maker, and his Pheasant Tail Nymph remains one of the most popular flies of its type in the world. Much of his tackle was well used - he was a great believer in wear and repair - but plenty of usually condition-conscious collectors, who had read his books or received his tuition, were keen to own something connected with the man.

His brass microscope, bought by his mother in 1935, was a highlight selling for £1000. 

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