BIDDERS REEL IN CHIPPEWA SPINNER LURES MADE CIRCA 1910 AT MILLER & MILLER’S SALE OF THE BOB RONSON COLLECTION, HELD OCTOBER 19th & 20th

. October 25, 2018

The sale was held online and at Miller & Miller’s gallery in New Hamburg, Ontario, Canada. The 2-day event had 724 lots of hunting and fishing collectibles and grossed over CA$175,000.

NEW HAMBURG, Ontario, Canada – Three green Chippewa spinner lures made around 1910 by the Immell Bait & Tackle Company (USA) brought a combined CA$24,780, and a clever Canadian-made circa 1930 Lurette No. 2 “living bait lure” was reeled in for CA$3,750 (a new record price for the lure) at an auction held October 19th-20th by Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd.

The sale was held online and in Miller & Miller’s gallery at 59 Webster Street in New Hamburg, Ontario. Featured was the single-owner lifetime collection of fishing lures, decoys and reels of the late Bob Ronson. Around 700 of the 724 lots that came up for bid were from Mr. Ronson’s vast collection. Including the buyer’s premium, the two-day sale grossed more than CA$175,000.

“The auction was fast-paced, with bidders not afraid to jump in and bid immediately,” said Ben Lennox, a respected Canadian collector and a staff expert for Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. “It was a gathering of astute collectors who drove the price of key lots feverishly. The hunting and fishing collectible market is robust and we look forward to our next strong auction in this genre.”

Eight of the top ten lots in the sale were Chippewa lures and 48 lots overall were dedicated to Chippewas (five were in the original boxes), a testament to their popularity with collectors (and with Mr. Ronson). The top achiever was a Chippewa in green with back spotted sides, made of wood and in the original box. The lure, in very good-plus condition, hammered for CA$10,030.

The runner-up lots were a Chippewa in fancy green back, in the box, made of wood and in very good-plus condition (CA$7,670); and a Chippewa in green with back spotted sides, in the box, made of wood and graded very good (CA$7,080). Three rainbow Chippewas also cracked the top ten, as one example went to a determined bidder for CA$3,245 and the other went for CA$2,006.

The Lurette No. 2 lure, made by Canada Needle & Fishing Tackle, wowed bidders with its unique and imaginative design. It was a “living bait lure” that boasted a glass bulb surrounded by hooks that were designed to tempt fish with a live crayfish or worm. The example sols, in the original box and with both sets of paper instructions, was in superb shape and made CA$4,425.

The auction also featured a Fred Pardee Kent double spinner, an F.C. Woods expert minnow, a Dam Ever Ready jointed sunfish, and various lures from Heddon, Creek Chub, South Bend, Paw Paw, AL&W, Lucky Strike, Pfleuger, Williams, DAM (Germany), Allcock, Jamison and Fred Arbogast; folk art and decoys by Tom Martindale, Carl Christiansen and others; plus rods, reels and ephemera by Malloch, Starback, Pezon et Michel and others also crossed the auction block.

Following are additional highlights from the auction. About 60 serious Canadian and American collectors attended the sale in person, while another 300 or so people registered to bid online via the platforms LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com, iCollector.com and directly on the Miller & Miller website. All prices include the buyer’s premium; all prices quoted are in Canadian dollars.

A Vaughn’s cardboard lure box with paperwork (no lure, just the box), made by Henry J. Lewis & Co. in the 1930s, graded good, realized CA$2,124; a Lauby Lure (USA) Lake Trout wonder spoon, made of wood in the 1930s, in excellent condition, rose to CA$2,006; and a Fred Pardee Kent (USA) double spinner, vary rare, made in 1902 and graded good, finished at CA$2,006.

A G.M. Skinner (USA) turkey wing lure from the 1900s, marked “Gananoque” and made out of copper, graded good, reached CA$1,180; a Martin (USA) cardboard lures box, graded very good, gaveled for CA$1,121; a Canada Needle & Fishing Tackle 1940s boxed lure, very good, sold for CA$920; and a Shakespeare Rhodes (USA) 1940s minnow lure, graded VG+, realized CA$649.

The story of how the Bob Ronson collection made its way to Miller & Miller’s auction block is interesting and worth retelling. It begins in the spring of 2015, when Ben Lennox stumbled on a garage sale in North Warterloo, Canada. “There were enough items of interest that led me to ask, ‘Do you have anything else old or interesting you’d be willing to sell?”, Mr. Lennox recalled.

Good thing he asked. The man Ben was talking to was Dave Ronson, Bob’s son, who, along with wife Paula, became custodians of the lures upon Bob’s death a few years earlier. Dave produced one drawer from a 144-drawer apothecary cabinet that had some fishing lures displayed in it. “After purchasing some unassuming fishing tackle, and after making an offer on the cabinet, which Dave accepted, we met at a storage locker so I could pick up my purchase,” Lennox said.

That’s when things got really interesting. “Upon opening the locker,” Ben recounted, “I quickly realized the magnitude of Bob Ronson’s collection.” Fast forward three years, during which time various e-mails and phone calls were exchanged between Dave and Ben, ultimately culminating with the Miller & Miller Auctions sale just held. “The rest, as they say, is history,” Lennox said.

Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. has two more auctions planned for the rest of 2018. The first, on Saturday, November 24th, will feature watches and jewelry. The second, titled Mantiques II: The Aarssen Collection, will be on Saturday, December 8th. Both will be online and in the gallery.

Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. is always accepting quality consignments for future auctions. The firm sells high-value collections of antique and vintage collectibles valued between $35,000 and $3 million, and items of individual merit. Its mission is to provide collectors with a trusted place to buy and sell, and its vision is to be Canada’s highest grossing seller of high value collections.

To consign a single piece, an estate or a collection, you may call them at (519) 573-3710 or (519) 716-5606; or, you can send an e-mail to info@millerandmillerauctions.com. To learn more about Miller & Miller Auctions, Ltd. and its upcoming sales, visit www.MillerandMillerAuctions.com

The top lot of the auction was this Chippewa spinner lure with green back spotted sides, made around 1910 by the Immell Bait & Tackle Company in the United States ($10,030).

Category: Auction News

Comments are closed.