D0796: Francis Rolph Wood Pigeon Decoy, Early 1900s

Excellent wood pigeon decoy attributed to Francis Rolph of Lakenheath, Suffolk, United Kingdom, circa 1900-1910. The decoy is in original paint with light wear and a small chip off one side of the tail. It is unusual in that the head and body are carved in separate pieces, similar to North American decoys, but a characteristic I've seen in no other English wood pigeons. It has carved shoulders and wings, the original metal bill, glass eyes and a pleasing patina. Painted in the specie's fall plumage, the full-bodied bird measures about 14.5" in length, 4" in width and 3.5" in depth at the breast. It is fitted with eye screws in the back and belly to allow the decoy to be suspended from a tree branch of what the Brits called a "sitty tree" as part of a set they called "lofters". A wind vane, camouflaged with a leaf pattern and probably provided by Rolph to provide motion to the birds, is attached to the bottom of the decoy, adding significantly to the folk art appeal of this early carving. Francis was the father of James Rolph who continued carving decoys into the 1940s using the same basic pattern but with a one-piece body and head. One of Francis's decoys, unidentified as to maker, can be found in Joel Barber's book written in 1935 (Plate 54). English wood pigeons have garnered the well-deserved attention of American collectors. Similar in time frame to North American waterfowl and shorebird decoys, they have been used in the United Kingdom since the latter part of the 1800s with examples ranging from the deeply carved examples sold by Trulock and Harriss and R. Ward Co. to the more stylized examples of the Rolphs, Jaggard, Boddy and Robert Lange. See my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers for additional information. SOLD

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D0796: Early George Boyd Yellowlegs Shorebird Decoy

Excellent "beetlehead" yellowlegs by George Boyd (1873-1941), a shoemaker from Seabrook, New Hampshire, circa early 1900s. This decoy retains its original upturned bill and is in meticulous original stippled paint with shoe button eyes and a nicely rounded body. There are several small rubs to the paint and the typical tight crack in the slender neck. Boyd inserted a dowel through the neck from the head into the body of his yellowlegs to stabilize and offset this tendancy. Boyd's shorebirds are widely recognized as being among the best ever crafted. SOLD

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D0795: Jim Mense Redhead Hen, 1977

Exceptional redhead hen in mint condition by Dr. James B. "Jim" Mense, Lansing, Michigan, 1977. Born in Chicago in 1942, Mense began carving shortly after taking a position with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in Lansing in the mid-1960s where The Midwest Decoy Contest (later changed to the North American Wildfowl Carving Championships) and his association with Dr. Miles D. Pirnie and two nationally recognized carvers, Jim Foote and Larry Hayden, served as his inspiration. Since, he has won over 100 awards, including 6 best of shows, in major competitions including the Ward World Championships. Dr. Mense now lives and carves in Meeker, Colorado. This particular decoy, measuring 13" in length, 6.25" in width and 6.5" in height, is expertly carved, detailed and painted. It is hollow with glass eyes, detailed bill carving, fluted tail and raised and crossed wingtips. Her head is turned about 15 degrees to the left. The carving is in original condition with no repairs or touch up and is signed and dated "James Mense 1977" on the bottom. Two labels on the base indicate that this decoy took third place (in species?) in the Professional Division of the Midwest Decoy Contest. It's hard to imagine a more lifelike carving! SOLD

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M340: Bobwhite Quail by Jim White, Cairo, GA. Dated 1979

Excellent male bobwhite quail by noted carver Jim White (1930-present) of Cairo, GA. Artistic ability obviously runs in the family as Jim is the older brother of Delaware River carver Bob White. The quail, measuring 8.5" from tail tip to bill, is in highly detailed mint original feather paint. It has carved wing outlines with detailed bill carving and a raised top knot. The base is signed and dated 1979. It stands 6.5" tall, including the base. Jim's carving career spanned 35 years from 1965 to 1990. SOLD

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D0768: Mint Rick Brown Sleeping Canada Goose Decoy

Beautiful full-size Canada goose decoy in a sleeping or preening pose by Fredrick C. "Rick" Brown, Brick Township, NJ. It is hand-carved in the traditional Delaware River style from air-dried Jersey white cedar with superb mint paint, detailed bill carving, raised primaries, fluted tail, hollow body, high quality glass eyes, lead pad weight and leather thong. The decoy is signed and dated 2015. It measures approximately 20.5" in length, 8" in width, 9" in height and and bears Rick's personal copper ID tag. Rick was the founder and owner of Barnegat Bay Decoys which he started on the old Wildfowler Decoy Company site in the 70s. Though the company closed it's doors more than two decades ago, Rick continues to hand carve the competition quality decoys that have earned him hundreds of ribbons for more than a quarter of a century. His decoys are highly collectible and very much sought after. SOLD

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M331: Leo McIntosh Solitary Sandpiper, Signed, 1986

Decorative solitary sandpiper decoy carving by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr. (1953 - 2007), Stony Creek Decoys, Woodville, New York, dated 1986. Recognized as one of the best contemporary decoy carvers before his untimely death, Leo apprenticed with Ken Harris for five years before founding Stony Creek Decoys. This handsome solid-bodied shorebird measures about over 6" from bill to tail. Other than touch up to an imperceptible professional bill repair by Russ Allen, it is in near-mint and highly detailed feather paint with glass eyes. The bird has incised and slightly raised primaries with deeply carved shoulders and wing edges. The included base reads, "Solitary Sandpiper, Stony Creek Decoys by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr., '86". Stand included. SOLD

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M339: Vintage Pair of Pintail Drake Decoy Bookends

Fine pair of glass-eyed pintail drake decoy bookends by an unknown carver, circa 3rd quarter, 20th century. They are somewhat high-headed and have a West Coast look to them. The carvings are in unique, excellent and very intricate "tiger stripe" feather paint with a small amount of flaking on each bill and several small rubs on the heads. The bills are very detailed with carved nails, mandibles and nostrils. There are several small and tight age cracks in the necks of each and another in the breast of one. The bookends are about 6-1/2" wide and stand 8-1/2" high. SOLD

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C005: Two Decoy Publications, 1979 & 1980 Philadelphia Wildfowl Expositions

Scarce copies of the 1979 and 1980 Philadelphia Wildfowl Exposition publications, sponsored By The Women's Committee of The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia and published by The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Softbound 96 and 50-page, respectively, first editions with stiff covers, each measuring 8-1/2" x 11". The copies are in excellent unmarked condition except for a prior owner's name that is printed inside the front cover of the 1979 catalog. There is very light soiling on the covers. Many photos and drawings, all in black and white, are included. The 1979 issue is divided into four parts: Part One, Decoys and Their Use; A Cultural Interpretation. Part Two, Waterfowl: History, Habitat and Conservation. Part Three: An Artist's Gallery: Louis Agassiz Fuertes(1874-1927). Part Four: Philadelphia Waterfowl Exposition: Artists and Their Work. The 1980 publication is divided into three parts: Part One, Decoys For Collectors. Part Two, 18th and 19th Century Wildlife Artists. Part Three: The Philadelphia Waterfowl Exposition: Artists and Their Work. US shipping included.

Price: $19.00

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