Collection of 105 large gut eye salmon flies, formerly the property of William Humble Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley

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Thomas Turner is proud to offer for sale this unique collection of 105 large gut eye fully dressed salmon flies. The collection was formerly the property of William Humble Ward, 2nd Earl of Dudley, KP, GCB, GCMG, KSTJ, PC, TD, DL, 25th May 1867 to 29th June 1932. Humble-Ward was an aristocrat who held various roles during his life, including Governor-General of Australia, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, and a government minister under Lord Salisbury. According to Wikipedia, his extravagance and pomposity made him rather unpopular with the public, however, this extravagance paid off in terms of his fly collection.

The collection comprises 8 x 7.75” Velum discs with leather pull, each holding a superb collection of fully dressed salmon flies, the smallest approximately 2”, the largest 3”. There is a fine assortment of patterns, many including Jungle Cock, all gut loops appear original except two gut loops missing.



The collection is housed in a black japanned tin, 8.5”x 3”, with gilt decoration, ventilation holes to the side, and The Earl of Dudley crest to the lid. Wikipedia lists the Earl’s background, education & military service. He traveled extensively throughout the world, was an avid angler and naturalist, but above all, a dedicated salmon fly fisherman. His son, the third Earl, shared his father’s angling passion and in 1942 succeeded Neville Chamberlain as president of the Midland Fly-Fishing Club until his resignation in 1950. On his resignation, he presented his salmon fly collection to Mr. Scott Atkinson and after his death, the flies and family jewellery were purchased by an antique dealer through a private viewing. These flies were bought from this dealer by a collector and now come to the open market for sale for the first time.




A binder accompanies the flies with various handwritten cards of provenance, professional photographs of the flies, and the black japanned tin with the Earl’s family crest. This truly historic museum collection is available to buy now.

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