There are a number of baits which stand out in the collectable and desirable UK market.
This glass bait shown here is a typical example, both rare and decorative.
Made from cut glass on a nickel base plate the claws hold the glass to the metal, the rigging is twisted gimp wire.
The various angles cut into the glass created a vast array of reflective colours when retrieved in the water, what fish or angler could resist one of these?
Allcock’s catalogue extract shown here (BB Baits) has the lure listed in 1866 and given a reference number 327. Into 1870’s and it’s referred to as Glass with ref 328, probably as the first catalogue image does not make it obvious what the lure components are.
Incidentally other glass minnow lures exist, some hollow body examples with silver or gold wire inside.
They are rare; one is shown in the 1871 catalogue, ref number 578, Without Tail?
These are rare lures to find for any collector. If you find a named example, normally stamped to the metal backplate or fin by retailers such as Eaton & Deller, the price goes up again.
The glass can have varied hues or colours. I have seen pinkish and blue tinged examples along with the clear version shown here.
Values can be high, in the £1000-2000 plus bracket for large or immaculate examples.
However, be aware the glass does chip or crack as often the river bed takes its toll. The metal clasps can fragment or break away with age as well as damage. This will devalue the lure so check them thoroughly with a good magnifying glass before committing to buy. Additionally as a rule of thumb the larger the size the more money it will command.
Finally if you don’t have a copy of the excellent reference book, The Best of British Baits by Chris Sandford, 1997, get one! The information is extensive and one good lure find will more than pay for the book.
Knowledge is king, cash comes afterwards.