Past Timed Auction

Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake" Johnson

Soft close begins Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 12pm EDT
  • Timed Online-Only Auction of Angling Books from the Collection of Arnold "Jake" Johnson on July 24, 2018
  • Over Three Hundred Books on Angling Spanning the 18th Century to the Modern Day

NEW YORK, NY – Doyle held the successful auction of angling books assembled by Arnold “Jake” Johnson (1930-2017) of Bozeman, Montana, on July 24, 2018. The sale comprised over three hundred books presented as a timed online-only auction on This remarkable and extensive collection, numbering in the thousands of volumes, is being offered an ongoing series of live and online auctions.

The recent sale attracted hundreds of bidders prompting fierce competition and strong prices. Highlights included a history of The Fly Fishers Club of Brooklyn from 1895-1995 by James Volney Richter that soared to $2,250, reflecting the continuing interest in such organizations. Significant accounts of the Grand Cascapedia salmon fishing camps in Quebec, Canada, appealed to collectors, as demonstrated by Sir Francis Guingand’s account of Camp Chaleur, which realized a strong $1,250. In the same vein, Roy and Susan O’Connor’s charming (and very rare) 1974 account of fishing at that same Camp, just three years before it tragically burned to the ground in 1977, realized an exceptional $2,875. This marked the first time, so far as we are able to determine, that a copy of this work had been offered at auction.

Salt water fishing, especially tarpon, continues to be of strong appeal to collectors, with the very rare by-laws of the Texas Tarpon Club of Sport, Texas, realizing $1,375. Such books are as much social history as angling. The wealthy members of the Club, needing to receive and send mail, incorporated the town of Sport in an area that was otherwise without significant habitation. This met the Post Office requirement that there be a town in order for a Post Office to be opened.

Fly-fishing was well represented in the sale, and a copy of the magnum opus of the Beaverdam Press, the utterly charming The Diaries of Roderick Haig-Brown, 1927-1929 and 1932-1933, one of 150 printed, sold for a well-deserved $937. Similarly, the first edition of Harry Middleton’s beloved The Starlight Creek Angling Society, written shortly before the author’s death, sold for $812.

A true bibliophile, Arnold “Jake” Johnson was an inveterate collector of rare items related to angling, travel, expeditions in India and Africa, English sporting and color-plate, 19th century big game hunting, and Western Americana. His collection comprises hundreds of rare books, hand-written accounts of hunting expeditions, striking examples of 19th century photographic travel albums, and elusive bibliographies and facsimiles of major works.

Next Auction: Hunting Books

The next sale of property from the Collection of Arnold “Jake” Johnson comprises Hunting Books to be offered in a timed-only only auction. Bidding will commence when the catalogue is published online on Friday, August 3. Bidding will close on Tuesday, August 14 beginning at Noon EDT. All of the books will be exhibited at Doyle on Friday, August 10 and Monday, August 13.  Read More About the Sale

Consignments are currently being accepted

To have your property evaluated for possible consignment in the next auction, please contact:

Peter Costanzo
212-427-4141, ext 248
[email protected]

Edward Ripley-Duggan
212-427-4141, ext 234
[email protected]

Media Contact

Louis LeB. Webre
SVP, Marketing & Media
212-427-4141, ext 232
[email protected]

A Selection of Auction Highlights