In my view, one of the pinnacles in collecting is to complete the set. Whether it’s a series of reels, a run of flies or a cluster of rare lures, having the chance to see and own complete sets is the wholesome side of my collecting interest.
I am more likely to be bitten by a Zebra crossing than owning the full set of Hardy Perfects, which is why I have elected to focus my efforts on the smaller items, over a shorter production period. This does not make matters easier, but will allow those rare items to present themselves more readily when they become available.
One of the sets that I have been fortunate to collect is that of the Hardy Club Boxes. These exquisite pieces of miniature fishing furniture, made from the finest polished mahogany, go way beyond any type of box that I would carry to the river today, but allow us a moment to consider the apparel used over a 100 years ago to hold flies.
And the fact that there were four boxes, of which the Small Pocket, Pocket May and Double Reservoir formed the set, priced at 46 schillings, with the Small Double Pocket available at 13s 6d.
From a collecting perspective, the “set” of four probably represents one of only handful that exist:
The Club Reservoir above.
The Mayfly, with a deeper lid to prevent the hackles and wings being crushed.
And both examples of the Small Fly Box, with the double sided version being the rarer of the two.