A COLLECTION of cased fish that was collecting dust at the Birmingham Anglers Association has fetched £12,000.
The club had 24 cased fish in the garage at its new premises, collected over some 100 years.
Many of them were so damaged and tatty that officials thought they were virtually worthless.
However, when an expert valued them together at over £10,000, the club decided to auction them to the highest bidder.
The collection included several examples from Cooper, one of the leading taxidermists of the early part of the century. There were also cased fish from Homer and Wallace, other leaders in the field.
Of particular note was a cased 12lb barbel taken from the Hampshire Avon back in 1915 – a huge fish for the time.
Other species included pike, perch, roach, dace, tench, trout, bream, chub and carp. One case dated 1905 contained a pike of 33lb, while the most valuable piece, a bow-fronted Cooper work containing four chub, was thought by the BAA to be worth at least £1000 on its own.
“Some of the cased fish were badly damaged and very tatty, but we were advised not to split the collection and we attracted a massive amount of interest from all over the country when we put them up for sale,” said the BAA’s John Williams.
“If we had kept them they would have simply carried on deteriorating, whereas now they are in the hands of collectors who will restore them to their former glory.”
Midland Angler can reveal that the buyer was Kidderminster tackle dealer Mal Storey, who teamed up with a pal to bid the asking price of £12,000.
Mal has since had the collection independently valued, and judging by that valuation he believes has done ‘rather well’. He plans to keep a couple of his favourites, two specimen barbel taken from the Hampshire Avon in 1915 and 1930, which he has had valued at £4,000 apiece.
At least two other items of the collection have been valued at a similar amount and are to be auctioned at Ludlow Racecourse on November 22nd.
“One of the Cooper’s is of particular interest,” Mal told Midland Angler. “It’s the one of four chub from 4-6lb. It was very rare for Cooper to set up four fish together and we have been told this one could fetch up to £6000.”