D0138: Reg Culver Broadbill Drake Decoy, 1st Q, 20th C

Outstanding broadbill drake by Reg Culver of Stratford, CT, circa mid-1st quarter, 20th century. The decoy is hollow-carved with glass eyes, original paint with a fine patina and exceptional combed paint on the back. It has a few small dings and scrapes, but is overall a fine decoy. When Ben Holmes died in 1912, Culver, who was working for Roz Bliss at the time, purchased 70 unfinished broadbill bodies from Holmes' widow. This was one of that group. Culver completed the construction of those decoys with heads of his own design. The use of the Holmes bodies led to confusion and false attribution of many Culver broadbills to Holmes, including this one. It is inscribed on the bottom, "This is a Ben Holmes decoy, 9/17/1966, Tom Marshall". Although Marshall was considered by many to be "the" expert on Connecticut decoys, this is a Culver. It is pictured and properly identified on page 94, Connecticut Decoys by Henry Chitwood. Culver's heads differ from Holmes' in that they are flat on top with low, bulging cheeks and thinner necks. Subsequent bodies made by Culver were blockier and less graceful than those started by Holmes. Many collectors consider Reg Culver's broadbills to be Stratford's finest.

Price: $2950.00

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D0783: English Wood Pigeon Decoy, Suffolk, UK, Circa 1925

Well executed and stylish decoy by an unknown carver believed to have been from Suffold, circa late 1st quarter to early 2nd quarter, 20th century. The decoy exhibits characteristics compatible with those of William Jaggard, also from Suffolk. The decoy is in original paint with moderate flaking and wear. It has small glass eyes, an unusual upswept tail and deeply carved wings and shoulders particularly reminiscent of Jaggard's decoys. The inset wooden bill is also original and shaped in a similar manner to the lead bills used by Jaggard. The decoy measures 13-1/2" in length and is about3-1/2" wide across the shoulders. Suffolk was home to a number of gunsmiths and gun shops that sold pigeon decoys. It is known that a relatively large number of decoys were made in the area by various carvers to be sold by those concerns. It would not come as a surprise if the characteristics of one carver's work carried over to that of another. 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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M338: Wilmer Reinbold Miniature Bobwhite Quail Pair

Excellent pair of miniature bobwhite quail by George Wilmer Reinbold (1885-1946), Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, circa 1940. Both the carvings and the original paint are expertly detailed and beautifully accomplished with the latter exhibiting a nice patina. Both quail have detailed wing carving including raised wing tips. The male is unusual in that it has an open beak as if calling. The burl upon which the male is mounted is signed "W. Reinbold". Each quail measures just over 2" bill to tail. The beveled walnut base is 4" in diameter, 1/4" thick and covered with red felt on the underside. Wilmer’s work was represented in the most popular outdoor outfitters, wildlife-themed gift shops and galleries of the day, notably Richard Stockton’s Shop in Bryn Mawr, PA, Caldwell's in Philadelphia and Crossroads of Sport and Abercrombie & Fitch in New York City. His work is highly regarded and much sought after today. Wilmer was the father of noted carver Bill Reinbold of Chestertown, Maryland. SOLD

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D0790: Frank Buchner Redhead Drake Decoy, Circa 1890s

Rare solid-bodied decoy with marble eyes by Frank Buchner (1871 - 1947), Erie, Pennsylvania, circa 1890s. Buchner is the "father" of the Erie school and is recognized as the most prolific and talented carver from the area. It is estimated that he carved between 300 and 500 decoys in a career that spanned nearly 50 years from the 1890s to 1940. Buchner was Chief Engineer of the Erie Sand and Gravel Sand Sucker, a barge-mounted dredging machine that cleared channels for navigation into the bay. His use of artistically inscribed patterns to delineate anatomical areas such as wings, speculums and tails attests to his German-American heritage. One such pattern identifies this decoy as being one of Buchner's oldest carvings from what was called his "heart rig". Jon Deeter and Gene Kangas wrote in Decoy Magazine in Nov/Dec 2008, pages 24 - 29, "It seems logical that the dynamic simplicity of this heart design originated close to the beginning of his carving career, and it's assumed they were made in the 1890s". As that rig was reportedly made up only of bluebills, this decoy in old working paint was repainted by the hunter as a redhead drake. Remnants of the original paint, probably that of a bluebill drake, can be seen where the ballast weight was removed. While the body is sound structurally, there is a crack through the neck. Buchner's decoys earned their reputation among hunters because they worked. Their strong folk art appeal assures their standing among collectors. SOLD

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D0788: Rick Brown Swimming Mallard Drake Decoy, Circa Late 1980s

Life-size hollow swimming mallard drake decoy by Rick Brown, Brick Township, New Jersey, circa late 1980s. Rick was the founder and owner of Barnegat Bay Decoys which he started on the old Wildfowler Decoy Company site in the 1970s. Though the company closed its 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. This decoy, done in the "Head of the Bay" style of Taylor Johnson and John Dorsett, is hand carved from air-dried Jersey white cedar with an outstretched head and neck, hollow body, high quality glass eyes and lead pad weight with leather line tie. In mint original condition, the detailed feather paint is in a word, "superb". The decoy is signed "Frederick C. Brown, Jr." on the bottom. It measures approximately 17.25" in length, 5" in width and 6.25" in height. SOLD

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D0780: Rare Robert Lange Feeding Wood Pigeon Decoy

Excellent feeding wood pigeon decoy attributed to Robert Lange of Yorkshire, UK, circa 1900. There is a possibility, however, that the decoys attributed to Lange were actually made by an unnamed Scottish carver. Regardless, they were limited in production and are some of the finest early decoys the UK has to offer, perhaps second only to those of Trulock & Harriss. Stylistically, they are similar to some of the better North American shorebird decoys of the same period, with smoothly carved bodies and a deft brushstroke applied in what has been called a "Spenserian style". Please see my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers for additional information. The decoy is in mint original paint other than touch up to the bill where approximately one-half of it was professionally restored. Measuring 13.5" in length, this decoy is hollowed out from below to both allow for storage of the mounting stake and to make it lighter and hence more mobile. It has early white glass eyes, and applied wings with extended tips. The sensitive spring steel blade at the top of the stake allowed motion of the decoy simulating a feeding pigeon in even the gentlest breeze. A rare example, this is the only Lange feeder I've encountered. Stand included. SOLD

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D0791: Excellent Wood Pigeon Decoy by Robert Lange, Circa 1900

Excellent English wood pigeon attributed to Robert Lange, Yorkshire, UK, circa 1900. There is a possibility, however, that the decoys attributed to Lange were actually made by an unnamed Scottish carver. Regardless, they were limited in production and some of the finest early decoys the UK has to offer. Stylistically, they are similar to some of the better North American shorebird decoys of the same period, with smoothly carved bodies and a deft brushstroke applied in what has been called a "Spenserian style". This glass-eyed example is in bright breeding plumage with mottled breast, neatly scalloped neck patches and fluid but precisely applied wing markings. The original paint shows light to moderate with some flaking. The decoy measures 13" in length. See my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers for additional information. Stand included.

Price: $1495.00

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D0784: Outstanding Trulock & Harriss Wood Pigeon Decoy

Classic wood pigeon decoy from the famous gunsmith firm of Trulock & Harriss, Suffolk, England, circa 1880s. Their decoys are considered to be the premier examples of English wood pigeons known. This example is finely crafted with detailed shoulder, wing and tail carving, glass eyes and its original molded lead bill. The softly-blended paint is strong and original with an excellent patina. The decoy exhibits overall feather carving with the breast and throat feathers carved in a fine scallop pattern, deeply carved edging on the wing coverts and a rasped or linearly carved texture to the primaries and fluted tail. The head is carved in an unusually animated and down-peering position as if the bird were examining something on the ground below. Even the eyes of the decoy are set in appropriate positions for this posture. The underside of the tail retains a portion of an original woven textile covering that is seen on a number of, but not all of, the Trulock and Harriss decoys. It is believed that this covering was meant to add strength to the rather fragile tail. There are small slivers missing from the outer edges of the tail feathers on both side and a chip missing from the body of the bird around one of the stick holes. Otherwise the structural condition of the carving is exceptional. Although who carved these decoys for Trulock and Harriss is not known, a strong argument can be made that the birds were made by the same craftsmen tasked with making the gunstocks for the gunsmith's primary product, perhaps on a seasonal basis or as a filler during slack periods. 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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