D0895: Excellent Mason Premier Mallard Hen With Stamp

Excellent Premier grade mallard hen by the Mason Decoy Factory, Detroit, Michigan, circa 1920-1924. The little-used glass-eyed decoy is in vibrant and well-detailed original swirled feather paint with very little wear. It retains the rarely-found blue Mason Premier stamp on the bottom. The hen measures almost 17.5" in length, 6" in width and stands 7.5" tall at the head. It is unusual in that it is solid-bodied as opposed to the more normal hollow construction. There are several small paint rubs and a moderate age split longitudinally along the centerline of the decoy.

Price: $2975.00

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D0892: Yorkshire Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1900

Rare wood pigeon decoy by an unknown carver from Yorkshire, United Kingdom. This is only the second I’ve had by this maker and probably just the sixth example that I’ve seen, including photos. This decoy would have been one of his earlier ones, presumably late 1800s to early 1900s. It is in original paint other than for touch up to the bill where the tip was accurately replaced. There is also a drip of green paint that starts below the eye on the right side and runs down the neck as seen in the first and third photos below. This is probably some of the paint used to create the lighter green shadings on the back of the neck. There is moderate wear and flaking on the wing edges and on the flat planes of the wings as well as on the crown of the head. There is also some chipping to the edges of the tail and some light shot scarring. The decoy measures 13.5” in length. In the last photo, the name “J. Powell” can be seen, followed by a second line which I assume is a city or town, starting “Re…” or perhaps “Be…”. There may also be a third line, a region perhaps, that starts with a “W”. So who was Powell, an owner or the maker? Please see the November-December 2019 issue of Hunting & Fishing Collectibles Magazine which includes an article I wrote titled, "What's in a Name, The Yorkshire School of English Wood Pigeon Decoys" It covers six carvers from the region, including the work of this carver who I have designated as "Mr. Z". A copy of the magazine will be included with the purchase. Stand included.

Price: $935.00

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D0891: Clint Wells Feeding Pintail Drake, Dated 1929

Very well executed "duck butt" or "tip-up" feeding pintail drake decoy by Clint Wells, Fort Worth, Texas, branded on the bottom, "Made 1929 By C. Wells". Measuring 11.5” in height including the weighted keel and 5” in diameter, the decoy exhibits intricate original feather paint by George Newman, the senior anatomy illustrator at the University of Texas Medical School, as Wells himself was not an accomplished painter. A Fort Worth insurance broker, Wells made his decoys in a completely equipped do-it-yourself machine shop. He used a lightweight wood for the body and added pine wing inserts for added realism. By crafting his decoys with diverse attitudes, he created a more natural appearing rig that helped attract the waterfowl. His decoys included an innovative keel design that served multiple purposes. When the decoy was not in use, the line and anchor weight could be securely wrapped around the keel and stored. The last photo is of this drake along with a rig mate hen (Item D0889) available separately. Wells’ anchor weight is included. Wells is one of a very small number of documented early carvers from the Lone Star State and certainly ranks among her best!

Price: $465.00

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M364: Miniature Mallard Hen, The Ruppel Co., Early 3Q, 20C

Glass-eyed miniature mallard hen by The Ruppel Company (Walter Ruppel), Portland, Oregon, circa early 3rd quarter, 20th century (pre-zip code). The carving retains the company's paper sticker, reading "The Ruppel Company, P. O. Box 32, Portland 7, Oregon". The balsa bird is in original paint with a stippled body and painted primary feathers. There is some paint loss to the edges and the tip of the tail, a paint or varnish drip of the left side and some flaking on the bottom. The carving measures 6.5" in length, 3" in width and stands 3" high at the had.

Price: $195.00

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D0890: Lloyd Johnson Working Pintail Hen Decoy, Bay Head, NJ

Exceptional glass-eyed hollow-carved working pintail hen, circa 1950s, by Lloyd Johnson (1910-1965), Bay Head, New Jersey. Johnson is recognized as a master decoy maker, collector and historian. The decoy is in nicely patinated original paint with scratch feather paint on the sides, breast and head and detailed feather paint on the back. It exhibits carved primaries and tail feathers and overall body musculature. The head is turned approximately ten degrees to the right with expertly detailed bill carving. The decoy measures 14" from the tip of the tail to the tip of the bill, is about 5.5" wide and stands 7" high at the head. It shows only very light wear and has a tight neck crack as well as a tight crack across the front of the breast. These can be best seen in the last four photos. The tag on the bottom is from Richard Bourne's October 1981 auction (Lot 218) of the collection of John Dilworth of Salem, New Jersey. SOLD

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D0889: Clint Wells Feeding Pintail Hen, Dated 1929

Very well executed pintail hen decoy by Clint Wells, Fort Worth, Texas, branded on the bottom, "Made 1929 By C. Wells". Measuring 14” in length and 5-1/2” in width, the decoy is about 5” high, including the keel. It exhibits intricate original feather paint by George Newman, the senior anatomy illustrator at the University of Texas Medical School, as Wells himself was not an accomplished painter. A Fort Worth insurance broker, Wells made his decoys in a completely equipped do-it-yourself machine shop. He used a lightweight wood for the body and added pine wing inserts for added realism. By crafting his decoys with diverse attitudes, he created a more natural appearing rig that helped attract the waterfowl. His decoys included an innovative keel design that served multiple purposes. When the decoy was not in use, the line and anchor weight could be securely wrapped around the keel and stored. Wells’ anchor weight is included. The last photo is of this hen along with a rig mate drake (Item D0891) available separately. Wells is one of a very small number of documented early carvers from the Lone Star State and certainly ranks among her best!

Price: $465.00

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D0885/D0886: Exceptional Wisconsin Mason Premier-Style Mallard Pair, Circa 1Q, 20C

Excellent pair of solid-bodied mallards, circa 1st quarter, 20th century, by an unknown Wisconsin carver, patterned after snakey-head Mason Premier mallards. The exceptional richly colored original paint which closely follows the Mason scheme displays a nice craquelure and is protected by a light coat of shellac or other sealer on both decoys. Unlike Mason Premiers, the glass eyes are set in slightly cupped depressions and the overall profile of the decoys is flatter than that of the Masons. Each has a flat bottom with a slightly beveled perimeter and measures slightly more than 17” in length, 6” in width and 6.5” in height at the head. The bills have carved mandibles and nostrils in the Mason style. A very attractive pair of collectible early decoys!

Price: $975.00

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M0883: Early New Jersey Ruddy Turnstone Decoy

A simple but effective ruddy turnstone decoy by an unknown maker from the New Jersey coast, circa 1st quarter, 20th century. The “flattie” is approximately 1-1/2” thick and measures 9-1/2” in length. In original paint, it exhibits the specie’s breeding plumage. Stand not included.

Price: $135.00

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