AMFF: The Charles Thacher Book Collection

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Extraordinary. Matchless. Meticulously curated.

 

Extraordinary. Matchless. Meticulously curated. These are the adjectives which come to the fore in beginning to describe Charles Thacher’s uncommonly generous gift to the American Museum of Fly Fishing of his superb collection of fly fishing literature. Mr. Thacher’s collection is as notable as it is because of two attributes he possesses: first, he is knowledgeable, more knowledgeable in fly fishing literature than a great many book collectors; second, Mr.Thacher is discerning, he knows what merited addition to his collection and what did not.

 

Mr.Thacher is discerning, he knows what merited addition to his collection and what did not.

 

Novice book collectors soon learn to seek early editions, ideally first editions, and never to buy flawed copies unless sound copies are not available; Mr. Thacher knows that and much more. An example from the nearly 400 books in the list for the Charles Thacher Book Collection that first leapt off the page was Samuel Gardiner’s A Booke of Angling, published in 1606. It is believed to be the only copy of this book, which conflates angling with religious devotion, that existed in a private collection. A second is the 2nd edition of Thomas Barker’s The Art of Angling published in 1653—the same year as the 1st edition of Izaak Walton’s The Compleat Angler (Walton freely acknowledged his debt to Barker). Barker’s book is highly sought after, and would be a prized possession in any collection. Another sterling example: the 5th edition of The Compleat Angler (1676), the first edition of this most widely known of angling volumes to include Part II, the portion composed by Charles Cotton that is chiefly about fly fishing, which Walton’s own work is not. These are only three of the thirty-two books in the Charles Thacher Collection published in the 17th century – eleven of them prior to Walton. In addition, there are 51 books that were published in the 18th century. Many of these books are extraordinarily rare.

 

In addition, there are 51 books that were published in the 18th century. Many of these books are extraordinarily rare.

 

Click the button below to learn more and see photos!

Learn More About The Thatcher Collection

 

American Museum of Fly Fishing
4070 Main Street
Manchester, Vermont 05254
USA
Tel. +1 802-362-3300
E-mail: amff@amff.org

 

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