Saturday - 25 October 2014

An American piscatorial classic and a brief tribute to the English nymph king...

04 January 2005Written by ATG Reporter

THE wrappers are torn and creased, the spine has been repaired with glue and several plates and text leaves are loose, but the book seen right is an 1858 first edition of perhaps the scarcest of all American fishing books, Fishing with Hook and Line... by ‘Frank Forester’, the pseudonym used by that prolific chronicler of hunting, shooting and fishing, Henry William Herbert.

As part of the angling library of David B. Wood, it sold for $3250 (£1700) at PBA Galleries of San Francisco on December 2. 

William Van Winkle, in his bibliography of H.W. Herbert's works, recorded only two copies, both of them in his own collection. One of those is now at Harvard; the other was offered by PBA in January 2002 as part of the joint Bloomsbury and PBA disposal of the much larger Jeffery Norton angling library. That was a better preserved copy that sold for $7000.

One of 100 copies of Charles Zibeon Southard's  Trout Fly-Fishing in America... of 1914, additionally inscribed for presentation by the author, sold at $2250 (£1180).

Sold for $37,500 (£19,635) in San Francisco, on the same day but this time as part of a collection of Derrydale Press books formed by Robert Patterson, was one of 25 deluxe copies of Preston J. Jennings'  A Book of Trout Flies. Containing a List of the Most Important American Stream Insects & the Imitations. Published in 1935, it comprises two volumes, one of which offers text and the illustrations of Alma W. Froderstrom; the other a display case of 30 mounted flies tied by Jennings.

The literature section of an angling sale held on November 20 byMullock Madeley in Ludlow included books from the angling collection formed by river keeper, entomologist and angler, Frank Sawyer. Dotted with autograph notes 
throughout, Sawyer's own copy of  Nymphs and the Trout - New Applications of a Technique for Fly Fishermen, published in 1958, was sold at £330 and a copy of Oliver Kite's  Nymph Fishing in Practice, a 1963 first edition with an inscribed dedication to Sawyer, made £640, while a 1959 first of Charles Ritz's  A Fly Fisher's Lifethat contained two dedicatory inscriptions to Sawyer, one dated 1974 and reading "To the world nymph king, darling Frank Sawyer, my greatest friend", reached £620.

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ATG Reporter

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