Ustonson Fishing Reel-pre 1837.

An antique fishing reel/winch retailed by Ustonson with a reversible handle, 3 1/2 inch diameter, all brass engraved ‘Ustonson Maker to His Majesty Temple Bar London’. Mullock’s will sell this reel at their forthcoming auction. The knurled retaining disc handle allows the handle to be reversed for storage. The foot is perforated and it has a raised check housing. This dates the reel at pre 1837. King George IV granted the Royal Warrant in 1824 to Maria Ustonson and continued by King William IV. In 1837 William died and Queen Victoria ascended to the throne.

Queen Victoria continued with the Royal Warrant, however there is no evidence that she fished. Her husband Prince Albert certainly did fish . I have seen and handled many examples of rods carrying his Royal Warrant for Fishing Tackle which was held by G Little. Many people have questioned if Ustonson made these reels and I for one do not believe they did.

Following the appearance of these images on our Facebook Group there has been considerable interest in who actually made the reel. It is has been suggested that the reel was made by others. My own suggestion is James Haywood another has suggested Hero the London tackle maker. One thing is for certain that if an antique Ustonson fishing reel is up for auction it is certainly worth more than an unnamed example by the same maker.

This “intriguing” reel will be sold at Mullock’s next auction along with other sporting goods. The auction is on-line only but the auctioneers will be more than willing to provide more images and condition reports if required

For more details of this and other items of tackle being sold contact

Ustonson brass reel
Onsimius Ustonson brass fishing winch.
Ustonson brass reel
Ustonson brass fishing winch. with raised check housing.
Continue Reading

Antiques & Vintage Tackle

We have started a Facebook group together with an Instagram page for Antique and Vintage fishing tackle. The Facebook group, Antique Fishing Tackle is for items of tackle that are 100 plus years old. It’s an open group and anyone can post, once they have requested to join.

The Instagram page is Antique_vintage_fishing_tackle and the idea is to have new items posted regularly. In addition to the facebook page items posted here do not have to be over 100 years old.

You will find the join buttons on the right hand side of the page, just click and follow.

Please feel free to join or comment.

Continue Reading

Nottingham Wooden Fishing Reels

Men of Trent will give a history of the Nottingham wooden fishing reel from it’s early beginnings. The book will pinpoint the various developments from the early bush reels, the strap backs, star backs and centre pins.


It will endeavour to help  the reader understand this fascinating area of tackle collecting helping to identify the mundane run of the mill from the rare, and consequently valuable stars.

Continue Reading

Mullocks Auction

This Saturday will see the summer sale by Mullocks at the Clive Pavilion Ludlow Racecourse. Unfortunately I will not be there but there are some great items for sale. A friend will be carrying a couple of bids for me.

Hardy Trade Reel at Mullocks Auction
Hardy Trade Reel at Mullocks Auction

John Mullock has revamped the online catalogue and it looks great.

For further details  click here.

Continue Reading