Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Toy Discoveries in the Most Interesting Places

Wednesday,  February 26, 2014
                        (Cold and cloudy)

Toy Discoveries 
in the Most Interesting Places

   I decided to revisit a toy that I had purchased for my brother a few years ago. He had treated me to a fabulous once  in a lifetime trip for salmon fishing in the Queen Charlotte Islands
 (British Colombia, Canada) about 20 miles from Alaska. The trip was unbelievable although we didn't catch as many fishy as I thought we would.  I saw orcas and whales, and  eagles, and  I had more fun catching halibut that fishing for salmon.  I purchased my brother Michael,  a small present, but  last year, I purchased him a miniature battery-operated miniature Johnson 1930's-40's looking outboard motor.

  We grew up with our father Carl who loved fishing,and that transferred to us.  When my father was less fortunate in his early years, he would go fishing from Montreal to Mississquoi Bay near Venise Quebec, on Lake Champlain. He became friendly with Gordon Roy, a second or third generation farmer, who became a fishing outfitter. My father was able to leave his 4 or 5 horsepower Johnson outboard motor there, rather than having to lug it by bus back and forth from Montreal.

   These small motors are quite popular on ebay, and you have to be very patient to be able to buy a used one for a good price. I wrote a post once, as mentioned before, but a few days ago, the idea to revisit these miniatures came into my mind. I went to Liveauctioneers, did a search, and I came across one auctioneer who had sold more of these miniatures that anyone else. I wrote my letter of request, and was elated to receive a letter from Debbie Ganung of Lang's Auction. She is the wife go John Ganung, and both of them own and manage Lang's Auction. As it turns out,  the husband and wife had purchased the company in  2002  from Mr. Lang. 

  Lang's Auction's logo advertises  as "The World's Leading Fishing Tackle Auction". I had not known that when I went to their website, but within 20 minutes I was in awe! They have the most interesting and unique fishing items up for auction with excellent descriptions, and history. But what I was even more amazed was the excellent photography.  The technique is excellent, merchandise is photographed on a white foundation,  then cropped and sized. What also is incredible, like many other fine auction houses that I have had the pleasure to write about are their auction catalogues, and the cover photos for the catalogues.

I don't want to write too much, so for today, I had decided to introduce Lang's Auction for everyone to see what I was talking about.

You'll have to visit the Lang's Auction website, as my blog format limits the size of images that I can post. However, you can see the wonderfully-designed catalogue covers that have been produced for the many auctions over the recent years.

It's interesting to read the descriptions and information about the items up for auction. The resources that the Ganungs must have is extraordinary. I like the information informing us that aluminum  in 1900 was very expensive!

I've never a reel such as the one above before.

The above photo illustrates one of the smallest hook sizes available for fly-fishing. 
I added this to give you an idea of hook and fly-fishing lure sizes.  A fly hook so small would only be used by  fishermen aficionados, who would try to catch a very large fish with the smallest hook possible. Keep in mind that an ultra-thin monofilament line would be used as a leader to attach the hook to the fly fishing line! The line would be as thin or thinner than a human hair, and for sure you'd need magnifying glasses to work with.

I added the information with the photo, and I hope you'll read just a few of them. That fly above is a # 10. As tied-fly sizes go, the smaller the number, the larger the fly.  

For a few winters, I took up the hobby of fly-tying. It's a most amazing hobby, and it requires a very good among of patience, hand-euyeee co-ordination, sandlots of practise!

The above inkwell from a former US President in the early 1900's is most amazing.

The item above is called a "fish decoy". Many USA States and Canadian Provinces now ban this type of "sport", but at one time it was popular and legal. I've read about this sport for winter. What you'd do is dig a hole in the ice, lower a  decoy on a line, wait  for a large fish to come by, and them spear him or her! If you go to the Lang's Auction website, and look for the November 2013 auction, you'll see many beautifully-carved wood minnows and small fish decoys. What's more interesting are the vast array of spear "contraptions" that were invented and patented to spear the fish! 

Of course, my blog is about old and antique toys, and I couldn't leave everyone wondering why I'm writing about fish memorabilia. So below is what I'll be writing about in my next Lang's Auction post - small motors for small toy boats.

The above motors are not the rarest or most expensive, but I didn't want to detract from the other fishing equipment that I had written about above that - I wouldn't want to spoil my readers by giving you too mush in one post!

Thanks for dropping by,
and have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,
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