On Saturday March 13, Dan Ripley’s Antique Helper in Indianapolis, Indiana hosted their first ever all-fishing and sporting auction. Drawing from the collection of an important local collector, all of the more than 500 lots sold, with more than 300 absentee bids placed before the start of the sale.
Collectors from across the Midwest gathered, in a grand finale to an entire weekend devoted to their passion, to bid against hundreds of online bidders from as far away as Texas and California. Despite a robust sense of camaraderie in this group, there was plenty of good natured competition as collectors bid to win the most desirable baits, lures, buckets and reels. Ending sale prices do not reflect a buyer’s premium of 10% for floor bids and 15% for online and absentee bids.
With prices strong across the board, there were a few items that stood apart from this impressive grouping of fishing ephemera. Early in the sale, a Creek Chub baby jointed Pikie with day and night finish and mint in box, estimated to bring $200-$300, set the day’s pace, closing at $700. Catalog prices were strong as well, with several lots of South Bend catalogs selling at or above estimate, including a 1926 catalog closing at $120. Meanwhile, a South Bend Crippled Minnow bait, excellent in box, topped its high estimate of $300, sold for $425.
A trio of antique reels was offered, including a Peck & Snyder NY brass Reel in very good condition selling for $400. Several minnow buckets were available as well, with a very rare Lucas Rectangular Floating minnow bucket in excellent condition. One of the most desirable and hardest to find minnow buckets ever made, this choice item sold within its estimate of $300-$500, closing at $425.
A strong collection of Lauby baits all sold within or above estimate as well, with prices ranging from $190-$425. The highest sellers in this group were a lot of four Lauby fly rod baits in excellent condition. Estimated to bring $100-$200, this lot finally closed at $425.
A Great Type I Flying Helgramite from the 1880s, estimated to bring $2,000-$4,000 closed within the mark at $2,100. Considered to be the first wood bait to be commercially produced, this was the non-luminous version of the better-known Harry Comstock/Enterprise Manufacturing Type 2.
In keeping with sales of the day, three Creek Chub Husky Baits in Fire Finish all sold well above estimates of $400-$700, with a Creek Chub Husky Injured Minnow in box closing at $1,550 and two Creek Chub Husky Plunkers each closing at $975.