Perhaps the most recognisable reel from the Farlow of London range is the Patent Lever. A late Victorian design, it manifested itself in many forms.
Generally the ones you see most of are the all brass with half coin or knurled drag knob adjuster to the backplate.
Later, as aluminium became affordable, these appeared in a lightweight alloy giving a considerable saving, but they lack display appeal as they were generally dark lead finished from the factory. The Kelson pattern of the reel initially featured the drag adjuster on the face plate. That’s rare, but the rarest of all is the Scottish Pattern.
Collectors use this name as a generic term for wood plated brass reels normally from Scottish makers including Malloch of Perth. These wood models are the most decorative in my opinion too.
The combination of a rich red mahogany wood back and front plates with bronzed brass pillars and face plate is a sure fire winner for any display cabinet.
The example here is a stunner. The face plate engraved “Chas Farlow & Co 191 Strand London, Patent Lever” says it all.
The internal brake or drag system is controlled from a knurled steel knob on the backplate. A wide coin slot means it could be adjusted in the coldest of weathers, from Russia to Norway or northern Scotland to Canada. It worked in all weathers.
Another interesting development is the lower of the two brass pillars is a rolling or rotating pillar allowing line to run out and in more easily.
Few survive, it’s the Holy Grail for most Patent Lever collectors and we have it in stock as the time of writing here.