Wholesale and retail used to be a tactile function where we would need to see items before we purchase them. We would look, hold, and examine them before commitment and this process of engagement allowed us as purchasers, to form a relationship with the item, regardless of whether we are selling it for profit or purchasing them for use.
The sale’s engagement has been lost to and relegated from wearing out shoe leather to online platforms, but before this, the trusty salesman would take samples of their new wares to various retail outlets and sell.
The Salesman’s Folios or wallets were portable, and the examples photographed contained small items such as hooks, flies, through to split rings.
The two Milward & Sons wallets show the diversification with the smaller of the two wallets containing an array of needles, whereas the larger folio contains four pages of hooks and two pages of needles. The front of the wallet simply details the company’s information along with their supply, address, and established information, which for Milwards is 1730.
Allcock were a prolific retailer, wholesaler and manufacturer of fishing tackle and had achieved several honours for their products. They produced all angling products reels, rods, nets, and large quantities of terminal tackle. Here we can see some loose examples of some folio cards showing American flies to gut, Trout and Sea Trout flies and Limerick hooks and the Allcock folio contains of split rings, for your every fishing eventually.
And some examples remain unnamed and simply have numbers annotated to the flies when making your order.
The Salesman’s Folios are both rare and highly collectable with very low numbers appearing at auctions and sales. Some of the folios are broken up and appear in picture frames but however they appear, in their complete form of starring in a picture near you, they offer us a great insight into past ways.