Set with the fly that snared the beast, it is inscribed Caught by Dr E T Fison, In the boat house pool, Norham-on-Tweed, October 21, 1922, 51 1/2lbs.
The tradition of game fishing trophies had begun in the late 1800s as the sport became increasingly popular. As the practice of preserving game fish as skin mounts was unreliable, many were captured in carved and painted wood.
This model, which had passed through the family to the present day, was probably carved by John Tully (1862-1931). He had learned his trade as an apprentice for John B Russell (1819-93), one of the founding fathers of trophy fish carving whose studio was in Fochabers on the east bank of the Spey.
Tully had also married Russell’s daughter, Isabella ‘Dhuie’ Tully (1862-1950), who is thought to have painted nearly all of her husband’s meticulous carvings.
As the Rolls-Royce of fish carvings, with all-original paint and only slight wear to the fins, it was competed way past the estimate of £800-1200 to £17,000 at Lawrences (25% buyer’s premium) in Crewkerne on May 20.