1940’s Michigan Artist Sculpted Fish Lure Sells Record Price at Auction
CADILLAC, MI – A fish lure designed by a Michigan artist sold for a world record price this week.
Created by the famous sculptor and folk artist Oscar Peterson of Cadillac, the 15-inch-long pike with glass eyes sold for $ 42,500, a world record for a fish lure at auction, according to auction company Guyette & Deeter, Inc. The lure was made circa 1940 and is in perfect condition.
A total of 24 fish lures were offered in the sale with a cumulative estimate of $ 55,700 to $ 82,300, however, they exceeded expectations reaching a total of $ 118,500.
In addition to the record holder, Peterson’s 10-inch pole sold for $ 10,800. Other manufacturers include Hans Janner from Michigan and several artists from Minnesota.
Lures are traditionally suspended below the surface of winter ice by a line which, when carefully handled, moves the wooden fish up and down in a circular motion, mimicking swimming or injured fish.
Functionally, they are useful in spear fishing, which was invented by Native Americans and has been around for a few hundred years. The popularity of spear fishing increased from the late 1800s to the 1960s and in some states it is legal today.
As a collector’s item, they have been in demand for decades. Many museums have fish lures on display and auction houses regularly offer top quality lots throughout the year.
Auctions were conducted by phone, mail order and online through services like Invaluable, Bidsquare and LiveAuctioneers. The sale was broadcast live to bidders and convened by longtime favorite auctioneer Jim Julia.
The sale total reached the average estimate, pushing Guyette & Deeter’s auction total in 2020 to over $ 10.5 million.
Guyettet & Deeter says he is “more confident than ever” that the future of the lure collection is bright with the emergence of new collectors and the enthusiasm of current collectors increasing with each sale.
Its next sale will take place in April or May 2021 in Lombard, Illinois, in conjunction with the Midwest Decoy Collectors Association Show. Quality shipments will be accepted until March 15. Contact the company at 410-745-0485 to discuss sending to either event.