ClassicFlyTying.net

The Story

Written by Robert Verkerk

 

The Story: Three Mis-identified Treasure Chests

A few years back, there was an auction of a variety of things from what was essentially George M. Kelson’s mistress’ estate. The auction catalogue listed several items that had been properly identified and belonged to Kelson. All of these items disappeared into private collections, but there were three boxes that hadn’t been identified as part of the estate. They were badly photographed on the auctioneer’s website, and it was because of this ignorance that a young guy, named Andrew Bowen, could obtain one of the most intriguing material collections of our time.

The three original chests, back together...

The three original chests…

According to first hand witnesses, all three boxes were originally stuffed with materials, and contained about six Indian Crow necks, a dozen Toucan skins, two Flame Bowerbird skins (in Kelson’s days known as the Golden Bird of Paradise), Blue Cotinga’s, lots of Arabian Bustard, and much, much more.

 

A Window into the Past.

In the galleries of this section, we offer a series of pictures of items that either are, or were part of the original find. You’ll agree that this is a magnificent antique tying kit, allowing us a window into the past. We feel confident that at the materials shown in this gallery represent the correct materials of the period, in the correct shades and colours. A wonderful reference, that consists of a wealth of prime quality materials, all sorted after category and colour, either bundled or stashed in containers, ready to use. George M. Kelson, or whomever maintained this kit, was a man – or woman – of rare discipline and order.

 

We have 6 galleries for your enjoyment:

The first box provides an insight in the way Kelson organised his materials – more…

The hackle books give a clear impression of colours and shades – more…

The dubbing book also provides impressions of colours and shades – more…

We obtained photographs of some of Kelson’s exotics – more…

Winging materials are also a great reference. They Kite, or dyed Swan, for example – more…

Wools and furs show even more colour and material references – more…