William Billinghurst (1807-1880) produced reels of different sizes and materials, from small brass reels to giant sized nickel plated trolling reels (though only one of these is currently known to exist). The most common, if any Billinghurst can be called that, is the nickel plated 2nd version, or dual patent marked reels circa 1873 to 1880. Some of the more difficult reels include any size of the first version in 3", 3 ¼" or 3 3/8" size, any fixed handle reel, and most large size reels. So far, there is only one known box for a Billinghurst reel, a truly rare item! Billinghurst also produced a few all nickel silver reels, and at least a few coin silver reels that reportedly were given as prizes at various casting competitions. Any all nickel silver or coin silver Billinghurst can be considered rare. I am aware of at least one gold finish Billinghurst, a rare item indeed (Thanks to Bill Holbein for providing a picture of this rare Billinghurst). Once again pointing to the article Jim Wheeler submitted to the ORCA publication, the Reel News, in July of 2004 (Volume XIV, Number 4), we find as part of his estate 56 small reels, 18 medium reels, 10 large reels and 2 Extra Large reels (as mentioned above, only one is known to collectors). To put together a complete collection of sizes and finishes would be astounding.... and a wonderful challenge!
Billinghurst patent, 1859
I'm always interested in adding reels to my collection. If you have a reel you'd like to discuss, trade or sell please feel free to e-mail me at Jim@sidemountreels.com