M309: Vreeland Miniature Mourning Doves

Outstanding pair of diminutive hand-carved miniature mourning doves by Harry and Norma Vreeland of Greenlawn, Long Island, New York, circa 1965. Each dove, with raised wingtips, fluted tail and glass eyes, is mounted on the perch with wire legs and feet and measures only 2 1/2" in length. Overall, the piece is 3 1/2" wide and 3 1/2" in height. The birds exhibit minutely detailed and exceptional feather paint in mint original condition. The carving is signed "VREELAND" on the back of the base. Working as a team, Harry carved and Norma usually painted, although Harry was also a very accomplished painter. His painting is almost indistinguishable from Norma's. Much of their work, which was featured in the Winter 1974 issue of North American Decoys Magazine, was sold through The Crossroads of Sport in New York City.

Price: $675.00

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M302: Silas Owen Flying Pheasant Wall Plaques

Pair of miniature pheasant wall plaques (rooster and hen) by Silas E. Owen (1903-1967), Waubay, South Dakota. Silas, who was three-quarters Sioux and one-quarter Scotch-Irish, made a few working duck decoys and miniature standing ducks and geese but mostly wall plaques of flying ducks, geese and pheasants. His carvings were sold in nearby souvenier stores and a local resort bait shop as well as on special order, but he was not against trading his carvings for drinks at the local bar. He carved from the mid-1940s until close to his death in 1967. Many of his carvings are signed or had a paper address label stuck on. Some are just dated with the year they were made. Most of them are carved almost in the round with good detail and boldly realistic paint patterns. These two pheasants are in excellent detailed original paint with carved wing primary feathers and notched tails. The hen has a small chip to one wing tip. They each measure about 9-1/2" in length, 6" from wing tip to wing tip and 3/4" in thickness. Signed on back, "Silas Owen, Pheasant Rooster, Waubay, S. Dak." The original price of $2.00 is also written on the back of each.

Price: $245.00

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N007: Vintage Bluebill Decoy Patterns, Rochester, New York, Circa 1960s

Group of bluebill decoy patterns, heads and castings consisting of twelve pieces. The cast metal heads are quite detailed, even showing rasping for texture, immediately bringing to mind the work of Ken Anger of Dunnville, Ontario. Included are 5 hardboard body section patterns for a laminated full-sized body, a head pattern for that body, a carved wood head made from that pattern (2 halves glued together), a carved wood half-head from that pattern, two cast metal half-heads (one has a Plaster of Paris bill makeover) and two hardboard routed patterns of the same head. These are part of a larger group by an unknown maker that I purchased a number of years ago from an estate in Rochester. Several of the patterns, not included in this listing, were made from a 1968 calender from Brace-Mueller-Huntley, Inc., of Rochester, Syracuse and Albany, New York. The calendar indicates that the industrial company worked with aluminum, brass and plastic, although in what capacity I have not been able to determine. I surmise that the maker of these patterns very possibly worked for B-M-H in some capacity, perhaps as a pattern-maker. The complete 125-pieces group includes miniature, half-scale and full-scale patterns of over a dozen species of waterfowl and shorebirds as well as a number of both carved and cast (Plaster of Paris and metal) heads. Although the maker is currently unknown, the number and quality of the pieces surely point to a highly skilled craftsman with a relatively high volume of work. He appears to have made both decorative carvings and working decoys and may have made half or full-bodied figures or plaques, cast or molded from plastic or metal. These patterns are a piece of history that deserve preservation and recognition.

Price: $120.00

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M249: Frank Adams Miniature Mallard Drake Decoy Paperweight

Large size mallard drake decoy paperweight by Edward Francis "Frank" Adams (1871 - 1944) of West Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard, MA, circa 1930s. The carving retains Adams' full paper label on the bottom which reads, "E. Frank Adams, Duck Paperweights, Marine Vanes, West Tisbury, Mass". There has been a professional repair to a break in the neck with touch up to that area. Other than a small area of flaking at the tip of the tail, the original paint is in excellent condition with soft feather painting. A favorite with folk art collectors, most of Adams' paperweights were much smaller, measuring 3" to 4" in length. This example is much more rare, measuring 10" in length, 4" in width and standing 3" tall at the crown of the head. His work is chronicled in detail in "Martha's Vineyard Decoys" by Stanley Murphy.

Price: $450.00

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