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Rare 19th Century Fly Fishing Reel: Toys, Models, Collectables & Sporting Sale

12th July 2023.

Tennants Auctioneer’s Toys, Models, Collectables and Sporting Sale on 26th July is led by a rare 19th century 4” Brass Fly Winch fishing reel, made by Ustonson circa 1846. The reel, which is in fine working condition, will be offered with an estimate of £2,000-3,000 plus buyer’s premium. Inscribed on the reel’s faceplate is “Ustonson, Maker to the Queen, Temple Br, London”, and the firm held three successive Royal Warrants and were the leading makers of fishing equipment for decades.

The company was founded by Onesimus Ustonson in 1761, when he took over the business from his master John Herro. He became the most highly regarded maker of fishing tackle and would supply naturalist Joseph Banks with equipment when he accompanied Captain James Cook on his second voyage. Onesimus died circa 1790, and his third son Charles took over the business in 1815. However, Charles died in 1822 and the business was subsequently run by his widow Maria. Ustonson reels are highly sought-after by collectors today.

Also of note is a set of four autographs by The Beatles (estimate: £1,000-1,500). The signatures were obtained at Punch’s Hotel, Doncaster, where the group were staying. Ringo had a sore throat, and was visited by Dr Grafdyke, who refused payment but accepted the autographs on a card from the hotel; he later gave them to the daughter of his neighbour, who is the vendor.

Amongst the items of Sporting Memorabilia is a small collection with Newcastle United interest, consigned for sale by a former employee of the club. Highlights of the collection include a pair of Alan Shearer’s Match Worn Umbro Football Boots (estimate: £300-500), a Newcastle United David Ginola Match Worn No.14 Away Shirt from 1997, which is signed by the full team (estimate: £200-300), and Newcastle United Darren Peacock Match Worn No.5 Home Shirt from 1996/7, signed by the full team (estimate: £200-300).

A good selection of Corgi, Dinky and Matchbox toys are also on offer, led by two Matchbox I-75’s comprising a Removals Service van and a Coca-Cola lorry (estimate: £80-120), and a Dinky Gift Set 299 Post Office Series (estimate: £150-200).

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