. March 22, 2007

Bonhams is selling a piece of fishing history- a monster 30 lb pike landed in Hickling Broad, Norfolk in 1956 and subsequently mounted by the leading taxidermist of the day, J. Cooper and Sons of Hownslow. This fine cased pike almost four foot in length is estimated to sell for £4,000 to £6,000 at Bonhams sale in Henley on July 21st.

The Angling Times of Friday November 1956 tells the tale of the fish’s capture under the front page headline: “Monster Pike From The Broads.” The reporter said: -The captor, Hertfordshire angler, Donald Tate said: “The pike really frightened me. It took my live-bait with a rush, it came straight out of the water and crashed back with the noise of a ton of coal being emptied.:

Mr Tate, a farmer from Northaw, Pottters Bar had a houseboat and a punt on the Broads and whenever work allowed he’d head off for a weekend’s fishing. His previous biggest pike weighed in at 22 and 26 pounds respectively.

A second pike in this sale, lot 299 is that selfsame 22-pounder caught by the same angler and once again mounted by J. Cooper and Sons. It is estimated to sell for £2,000 to £3,000.

Charles Kewley who directs Bonhams Angling Sales says: The Proprietor of J. Cooper and Sons had been Mr. W B Griggs, a fine taxidermist whose son Mr. L F Griggs followed in his father’s trade. There is a descriptive invoice which shows £1.8.10 being charged for the gold leaf inscription for the 22 lb pike. When the angler arrived with the 30 lib fish he was initially turned away, as the business was struggling to keep up with their work. However after enquiring about the weight of the pike and learning it was of the magical 30lbs Mr. L F Griggs agreed to mount it. It is believed to be the last 30lb Pike preserved by the company before they closed in the early 1960’s. It took fifteen months for the fish to be completed and was collected on January 8th 1958. The fish are offered with the original invoices and other interesting ephemera.

Category: Auction News

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