The tackle box to many is a container to hold smaller items of fishing tackle; floats, hooks, weights and so on. But you can tell a lot about an angler by lifting the lid and viewing the contents. The boxes I like have character, a soul, this appeals to me greatly as an insight into the owner and a period of time in the angling past. Over the years I have acquired tackle boxes that I keep as an archive, a curator that considers each box as a piece of art and historical interest, but most importantly a box that has a personality. Sometimes I will edit a box to create a pleasing aesthetic but all the time I am conserving the integrity of each collection. Tackle is not the only thing found, old permits with scribbles on the reverse of notable captures, newspaper cuttings from the angling press, badges, coins and in one example a lucky charm belonging to a superstitious angler. I must also mention the smell of old tackle boxes, a smell that is hard to define but lingers like that of an old british bike or a waxed jacket, a scent of wood, oils, and old cotton.
I have a acquired these boxes from elderly anglers who have taken their last cast, anglers who can no longer tie a hook and rely purely on their memories, but most of all the boxes I have procured come from anglers I never knew, only through detective work I can paint an image of who they were, when they fished and the style of fishing that they pursued, I can step into their shoes, I have become the curator of tackle boxes!
A great post with stunning images. I only know too well the charm of taking over a box of items that last graced the riverbank three to four decades ago if not longer. The wax smell, gritty touch and patina of earth, tobacco and bait linger. The scent of pine wood and mahogany, the rich colours and materials of the contents a reel visual time capsule. One is always asked as to why I need so many, sadly they who ask the questions are blind to the beauty. If you ever hold an exhibition let me know.