"Wow! You have an incredible example of a nineteenth century spring-loaded fish hook. It was invented by Jacob Cartier of Massachusetts in 1898 and patented on May 30, 1899. There was a long tradition of such spring loaded "fish traps" like the Old Glory, as they called it, ensuring that anglers fishing for meat would not lose fish. While not exactly sporting by today's standards, its spring-loaded arms that snapped down when the fish hit the center (baited) hook meant you simply were not going to lose that evening's dinner. Old Glory hooks are very rare, valued at $750-1,000 in their original envelopes. I have never seen a dealer's box for Old Glory hooks, which would have held a dozen hooks in their envelopes. I would value the combo at $800-$1,200. It's a great piece of fishing history. To view Cartier's patent, click here."