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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D0266: Paul Lipke Blue-Winged Teal Drake Decoy

Rare hollow blue winged teal drake decoy, circa 1940s, in excellent original condition with only a few small scrapes and dings, by Paul Lipke of Whiting, Indiana, at the southern tip of Lake Michigan. This glass-eyed decoy, with head turned slightly to the left, measures 12" in length, 5" in width and stands 6" high at the head. It is pictured on page 180, Great Lakes Decoy Interpretations, Kangas, and on page 117, Bird Decoys and Duck Calls, Luckey and Lewis. Who made the decoy is known. What isn’t known is who Paul Lipke was. In April of 1985, depending upon which source you hear it from, a picker showed up at the Midwest Decoy Collectors Association show in St. Charles, Illinois, with between two dozen and four dozen decoys by this maker. All the picker knew was the carver’s name and hometown. The decoys were hollow-carved and flat-bottomed with weights bearing the initials “P.L.”. They had varying head styles with a fat, cheeky appearance and exhibited a strong Mason Factory influence, particularly in the paint patterns. They were estimated to have been made between 1940 and 1950. A buying frenzy ensued and when the dust cleared, the decoys were scattered from Illinois to New England. Little has been learned of Lipke since, and some collectors even question his existence. What is without question, however, is the fine quality of these decoys. Lipke is believed to have made only one rig of decoys, consisting of roughly 50 bluebills, blue-winged teal, redheads, canvasbacks and mallards. Further information on Lipke can be found in Decoy Magazine, Summer 1985, pgs. 32-33 and in The Great Book of Wildfowl Decoys, Enger, pgs. 224-227.

Price: $3950.00

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D0761: Swimming Louisiana Pintail Drake Decoy

A very animated carving of a swimming pintail drake by Jerome "Jerry" Dupre of New Orleans, Louisiana. This is one of Jerry's earlier working decoys, circa the late 1960s, carved while he was working in the Thibodaux's oil fields. The decoy's outstretced head with glass eyes is turned roughly 15 degrees to the left and canted slightly to the right. The expertly carved bird exhibits raised and crossed primaries, incised feather carving on the upper sides and a lightly fluted tail. There is a small amount of old touchup at the tip of the tail where it appears a small sliver was glued back in place; otherwise the decoy is in excellent detailed original paint. Measuring almost 22" in length and 6" in width across the shoulders, the feather-light decoy was carved from cypress root. SOLD

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M337: Nesting Woodcock With Clutch Of Eggs

Excellent full-sized nesting woodcock with clutch of five carved eggs by an unidentified maker. The carving is in finely detailed original paint with no repairs or touch up. It was collected in Ithaca, New York, and is quite possibly from that area. There is what appears to be a signature on the base, but it is completely illegible. The numbers "19" and "83" precede and follow, respectively, the signature and are presumed to be the year the carving was made. However, on the underside of the bird itself, there are initials that are more legible, including "RW" and either a "G" or "C". Immediately following this last letter are what could be the rest of a last name. Ingeniously, there are two tubes set into the body as thighs that allow the woodcock to be set on or removed from the wire legs. The woodcock measures about 9" in length and stands 8" high, including the base. SOLD

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D0781: Harry Boddy Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1930s

Very nice wood pigeon decoy by Harry Earnest Boddy, Chatham, Kent, United Kingdom, circa 1930s. The bird, painted in fall plumage, is in lightly worn original paint with a very nice patina and one shot scar. As with all of Boddy's birds, it has screw eyes set in separate shoe eyelets to simulate eye rings and relief carved shoulders. The bill appears to be an early replacement. The decoy measures 13-1/2" in length and 4" in width. Boddy was one of the most prolific of the English carvers, enjoying a career that began in the 1920s and ran until 1951 when he sold his decoy business to Edward Grace. Overall, the paint on Boddy's decoys was the most artfully accomplished of the commercially produced wood pigeon decoys, with flowing brush strokes, subtle shading and elaborate wet-on-wet blending. Stand not included. 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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D0600: James Rolph Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1925 - 1935

Excellent early English wood pigeon decoy, circa 1920s - 1930s, attributed to James Rolph of Elveden, Suffolk, United Kingdom. A fat-bodied bird measuring 14.5-inches in length, it has glass eyes, its original bill, deeply incised shoulder and wing outlines, raised wingtips and some feather carving. The original paint has a nice patina and is in near-mint condition with very minor wear other than a rub on one edge of the tail. Rolph carved from roughly 1910 until the 1930s. Made after the end of WWI when Rolph acquired a bandsaw for cutting out the rough decoy, this decoy has a more rounded body and raised wingtips, features his earlier decoys lacked. His earlier birds were somewhat rectangular and blocky in cross section, reflecting the exclusive use of hand tools in the making of his decoys. Rolph was the son of Francis Rolph, himself a decoy maker, and the father-in-law of William Jaggard who joined the family business in the early 1930s. One of James's decoys, unidentified as to maker, can be found in the Guyette/Sotheby catalog of Dr. Jim McCleery's collection (Lot 559, Jan 2000). 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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