Antique Lures by Debbie Kay
If you are a pack rat like I am, you probably have a number of vintage items from family members long departed in your attic. Old pictures and letters, furniture and other keepsakes are common, and help us hold on to memories of the past. If you have an old tackle box in your attic, you may have more than a treasure trove of memories, however, as there are a number of hand-crafted vintage lures that collectors will pay a pretty penny for. If you are in possession of an 1853 Giant Copper Haskill Giant Minnow, for example, it can be worth over $100,000 at auction. There are plenty more that value in the thousands, according to this 2008 Bassmaster article, and the prices years later have surely increased.
A List of Valuable Lures
In addition to the famous giant minnow, here is a look at some of the other high-end lures
- $30,000 and up: The Heddon frog is probably the second most valuable antique lure. It was created by a honey manufacturer as an incentive to get customers to buy his honey.
- $15,000: There are a few different lures that were valued at this price in 2008, including the first wooden plug bait from 1897, the Shakespeare Revolution Wood Bait. Also in this category is the Haskell Fish Hook from 1859.
- $10,000-$12,000: There are a number of lures within this range. Two flying Helgrammites from the 1800’s one by Pflueger and one by Comstock. Also, the Krantz and Smith Chatauqua Minnow from 1908, the Friend-Pardee Hook Minnow, the Heddon Night Radiant, Moonlight 1913 Special, Pflueger Trory Minnow, Pfleuger Decoy, Heddon Dowagiac Minnow and Shakespeare New Albany Bait.
How Do I Know What I Have?
It can be hard to know what you have. Your first clue that an old lure has value is in the care of its crafting. Is it handmade, hand painted, and either wood (which often did not last) or hand-crafted metal? Does it come from the 1800’s or early 1900’s? These are signs that your lure probably has some value. There are a number of online sites that can help to match your lure, or you can send photos to forums to get an ID.
How to List and Sell Your Antique Lures
You won’t get the best value for your lure unless you have the attention of collectors willing to pay top prices. Auctions work for this, or you can sell to someone who deals in antique lures. The best way to sell to a dealer is to show the lure to several different ones, and see what each of them is willing to offer them. Make sure you have a concrete ID on your lure so that you can also do your research on how much they have sold for. Dealers will want to re-sell, so you will get less than full price, often, but you will also get money faster than if you wait for it to sell at auction or on consignment.