Though it’s a bit tarnished now, the spoon below qualified as bait with bling, and originally, you could only get them in jewelery stores around the turn of the century. If Tiffany & Co had ever decided to hit the bait scene, they may have carried this Silver Soldier. The lure was entered in our vintage tackle contest by Mark E. Jacobs, who wrote:
I believe this is a 3-inch “Silver Solider.” I picked it up at a going out of business sale at a local antique shop. The gill on both sides of the lure are very finely engraved, the picture doesn’t do it justice. Thanks again I hope you find it as interesting as I do.
“You have a classic early 20th century metal lure on your hands. It is indeed “Kausch Silver Soldier” metal spoon dating from 1905-1933. The original lures were made from coin silver, but soon the lures were made with sterling silver plate. It was invented by a jeweler and watchmaker named Charles Kauth (1870-1933) of Bath, New York, who was granted Patent #813,500 on February 02, 1906. The lure was manufactured in the back of his jewelry store, at first by one of his employees named P. Christiansen and after 1918 by himself. Kausch also trademarked the name “Silver Soldier Bait” in 1905. Unmarked versions of the lure were sold by large trade houses like Abbey & Imbrie and Von Lengerke & Detmold (VL&D). It must have caught a lot of fish as they are fairly common; a nice example should sell between $30-$50 and twice that much in the box. To see the patent and a boxed example, click here.”
Great find, Mark. Give it a polish, then either give it a home in a tackle box or shadow box! Both would be cool. Thanks for sending, and enjoy the Cabela’s 50th Anniversary Fly Box and Fly Assortment headed your way.
If you’ve already sent me photos of your vintage tackle, keep checking every Thursday to see if I chose it for an appraisal by Dr. Todd. If you haven’t and want to enter the contest, email photos of your old tackle to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with your name, mailing address, and story of how you acquired the gear. If I use it in a Thursday post, you get a Cabela’s 50th Anniversary Fly Box and Fly Assortment (below, $50).