Hardy Miniature Palakona rod & reel set 1 of 3 with Royal links

It seems like millennia ago that I sourced this fabulous miniature Hardy Palakona rod & reel set, one of only three made.

This is the original miniature Hardy Palakona rod and reel set that spurred Queen Mary to order the very same for her Royal Dolls House.

This set includes a scaled down version of a full size Palakona fly rod, 3 sections split cane plus spare tip, each 7” long and in miniature detail, 20” assembled length. The butt section is hand written Palakona Regd trademark, with burgundy close whipped guides, nickel ferrules with tiny rosewood and cork stoppers, cork handle and nickel reel fittings. The reel is a 10mm diameter alloy copy of the Uniqua reel, presented with the rod in a purple baize lined custom fitted mahogany box, 8.5” x 3.25” x 1”, oval log to underside of lid, green baize underside on base. 

Exceptional quality, one of only three to exist, one with the Queen’s Dolls House, one with Hardy Bros and this one. 

The Queen’s Dolls House rod features in many of the early Hardy Anglers guides catalogues.

There is also a copy of the hand written letter from April 1924, signed Mary R, thanking Hardy for the work.

In brief, the Duke of Beaufort informed Queen Mary that his doctor, Dr Sedgewick, was a keen angler and had challenged Hardy to make him a miniature Palakona rod and reel set. Accordingly Dr Sedgewick was invited to Badminton House and upon seeing the finished article the Queen expressed the opinion that it was exactly what she needed for her Dolls House. Dr Sedgewick had no intention of handing the set over and argued it was not suitable as everything else was one inch to one foot scale, so another rod set was commissioned, the section lengths being 6”, this now resides in the Queens Dolls house. 

This rod set appeared twice on the Antiques road show, Hardy confirmed that only one more miniature rod was ever made, making three in all, that one being presented to Mr Hardy upon his retirement from the firm. At auction it sold for £4,000 hammer price plus commission, so I think that was a real steal for any serious collector.

For the short period of time I was the custodian of the set, it was a real privilege to have handled such an item of great historic value.