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World famous carp could fetch up to £40,000, 70 years after being caught

One of the world’s most famous fish is expected to sell for up to £40,000, 72 years after it was caught.

Clarissa the carp weighed a record 44 pounds when she was landed by famous fisherman and author Richard Walker on September 12, 1952.

This catch is considered the most important event in the history of carp fishing and paved the way for modern angling.

Clarissa broke the previous record by almost 13 pounds and continued to live at the ZSL London Zoo Aquarium until 1972.

His record stood for 28 years until a fish weighing 51½ pounds was caught in 1980 at the same location, Bernithan Pool, near Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire.

Now, Clarissa’s original skin frame is set to go to auction on July 24-25, at Mullock Jones, Shropshire, with an estimate of £35,000-40,000.

Ben Jones, of the auction house, said it was “arguably the most important preserved specimen of carp” in the world.

He added: “Five known replicas have been produced by Williams, this one being the unique original specimen.

“The capture of Clarissa, the record 44-pound carp in 1952, catapulted Richard Walker into the record books and carp fishing royalty for life.”

The fish is mounted in a glass case with an arched front, with gold writing and border, set in a naturalistic setting of reeds and gravel.

Originally mounted by a taxidermist for £80, it was restored in 2011 by Barry Williams, of Cannock, Staffs.

The restored case backThe restored case back

The back of the case is named after Barry Williams, who restored it 13 years ago.

Clarissa was held captive at a fishing tackle shop in Coventry, West Midds, which has now decided to part ways with her.

Walker helped establish the Carp Catchers Club alongside Maurice Ingham and Denys Watkins-Pitchford to study fish, their habits and behavior.

He believed a 40-pound carp could exist in British waters, but he was ridiculed by fishermen and the press.

This changed after he caught Clarissa using a one-inch split cane rod he had made in his garden shed.

The famous Richard Walker Mk4 was born and became the cult rod for traditionalist carp.

On that day in 1952, Walker fished without a float, knots or sinker and the bait was a homemade mixture of dough and bread crust. He had difficulty convincing experts that his catch was real.

At the time he said: “At around 9am or the next morning I went up to a big house and asked if I could use the telephone.

“I called London Zoo and asked, ‘Do you want a 40-pound carp?’ » They said, “We have a 14-pound carp. »

“And then I said, ‘Not a 14-pound carp – a 40-pound carp!

“The man on the other end of the line made terse comments about wishing the pranksters would think of something better to do on a Saturday morning.

“Then I had to say it quite bluntly. I said, “Now listen, I say this carp weighs over 40 pounds and I have it here and you can have it if you want.

“If you don’t want it, I’m sure Bristol Zoo would be happy to have it.”

“So he said, ‘I’ll send for him.’ About six hours later, a van arrived with a bathtub and two obviously incredulous people who thought it was a hoax.

“They were quite surprised to find that it wasn’t the case and walked away with the thing.”

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