M325, Joe Ahearn Pheasant Lamp, Circa 1950

Fine cock pheasant lamp by James Joseph "Joe" Ahearn, Stamford, CT, circa 1950. An excellent effort, this roughly one-half scale carving is an unusually large example of Ahearn's work. The pheasant measures 15" in length (tip of bill to tip of tail) and 8-1/2" in height including the birch log it is perched on. It is in excellent structural condition except for a small, almost unnoticeable, piece missing on the outside of the right thigh. The carving is in excellent original condition with highly detailed feather paint, glass eyes and wire legs with lead feet and is mounted on a two-piece wooden base with birch log. The original lamp hardware and shade are included. Because of the age of the components, it should be rewired before use. Ahearn became well-known in the mid-1940's as a carver of miniatures. It is unclear when he began carving them although it is presumed that he started in the late 1930's, if not sooner. While Joe lived in the New York City area where he was a salesman for the National Cash Register Company he was known to have carved miniatures while on the road. At the onset of World War II, he and his wife moved to Stamford, Connecticut. The first documentation of his carvings being offered for sale is in the 1945-46 catalog of the Sporting Gallery and Bookstore in New York City. This catalog featured a wide selection of Ahearn's "functional hunter" and "sportsman oriented" items such as lamps, wall thermometers, letter openers, coat racks, tie racks, pipe racks, book ends and ashtrays in a variety of configurations. It was around this time that he also began offering his miniature carvings of waterfowl and upland game birds. One of the first and certainly the most important retailer to carry his carvings was the Crossroads of Sport store in New York City. They were enjoying a huge demand for A. J. King's miniatures and were more than eager to complement his products with another carver's work. Ahearn is featured in "Birds in Wood and Paint" by Joe Ellis. In July 2013, Copley Fine Art Auctions sold a flying grouse lamp (Lot 71) with two smaller (6" long) woodcocks for $2530.00.

Price: $725.00

Contact me about this item »

D0637: Heavily Carved English Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa Late 1800s

Heavily-carved English wood pigeon decoy, circa late 1800s. The decoy shares characteristics with the early wooden decoys sold by both R. Ward Co. and Trulock and Harriss, but differs enough to open the possibility that it was crafted by another as yet unidentified maker. It is also possible, however, that it is a later example from Ward or an earlier example from Trulock and Harriss. Almost certainly commercially made, the tail is most similar to the Ward decoys while the wings are more similar to the offerings of Trulock and Harriss, yet the head style differs from both. The breast is laminated in a manner similar to that found on a number of examples by Trulock and Harriss. Overall, it is more accomplished than the Wards, but lacks the sculptural finesse of the Trulock and Harriss birds. Full-bodied and measuring about 16-inches in length with raised wing tips, glass eyes and an inset tail, it is one of the largest pigeon decoys I've seen. Other than a professional tail repair with touch up to that area, it is in original paint. Stand not included. SOLD

Contact me about this item »

D0764: William Jaggard Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 2nd Q, 20th C.

Excellent wood pigeon decoy by William Jaggard of Elveden, Suffolk, United Kingdom, circa late 2nd quarter, 20th century. In original paint with very minor wear, this stylish pigeon has carved shoulders and wings, a cast metal bill, glass eyes and a pleasing patina. Painted in the species' fall plumage, the full-bodied carving measures just under 14" in length, 3.75" in width and 3" in depth at the breast. Jaggard, who carved from the late 1930s through the mid-1950s, continued the carving business of his father-in-law and mentor, James Rolph. Judging from the number of examples found today, he, along with Rolph and Harry Boddy, was one of England's most prolific makers. 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 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.

Contact me about this item »

D0775: James Rolph Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1915 - 1920

English wood pigeon decoy attributed to James Rolph of Elveden, Suffolk, United Kingdom, circa 1915 - 1920. Rolph carved from roughly 1910 until the 1930s. Like all of his early decoys, the body is somewhat rectangular in cross section, reflecting the exclusive use of hand tools in the making of his decoys. Shortly after the end of WWI, Rolph acquired a bandsaw for cutting out the rough decoy, resulting in a more rounded body, sometimes with raised wingtips. Lightly used with a pleasing patina, this fat-bodied bird measures 14.5-inches in length with glass eyes and deeply incised shoulder and wing outlines. The original paint depicting the species' fall plumage is strong, well-patinated and original except at the bill which is an excellent professional replacement. Rolph was the son of Francis Rolph, himself a decoy maker, and 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

Contact me about this item »

D0776: Gradewell Last Co., Ltd., Wood Pigeon Decoy

Rare and excellent solid-bodied English wood pigeon decoy by The Gradewell Last Co., Ltd., of Leicester, England, circa 1930s. This is one of only two by this maker that I have seen, but I have heard of a pair being given as an award at a pigeon shoot in Leicester where they were made in the mid-1930s. Gradewell, a maker of wooden shoe lasts, was incorporated in 1912 and dissolved around 2004. The duplicating equipment used by the company for making shoe lasts made the manufacture of decoys a natural fit, but it is unknown whether this decoy was part of a special order, a regular product offering or a product made as a filler only during slow periods. Regardless, it is a high quality decoy that is heavier than most pigeon decoys, probably due to the use of the same hardwoods such as maple, hornbeam and beech that the company used in last production. These hardwoods were chosen because they were free of knots, cut cleanly with no fraying and were unlikely to split. This resulting decoy is well formed with crisply incised wings and shoulders and is smoothly finished with no blemishes to the wood. The paint on the 14-inch long bird is skillfully applied in the breeding plumage and has achieved a fine patina. It has white glass eyes and an inset wooden bill, all of which are original to the decoy. The paint at the juncture of the bill and face is cracked around the perimeter of the bill which is nonetheless securely set and undamaged. Embossed on the bottom of the decoy is "Gradewell Last Co. Ltd, Leicester, Eng". See my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers for additional information. SOLD

Contact me about this item »

D0773: Harry Boddy Wood Pigeon Decoy

Wood pigeon decoy by Harry Earnest Boddy, Walderslade, Kent, United Kingdom, circa 1935. The bird, painted in fall plumage, is in lightly worn original paint with a very fine patina and has been hit with shot. As with all of Boddy's birds, it has screw eyes set in separate grommets to simulate eye rings, a cast metal beak and relief carved shoulders. The decoy measures 13-1/2" in length and 4" in width. Boddy was probably the most prolific of the English carvers, enjoying a career that probably began in the early 1930s and ran approximately until WWII. Overall, the paint on his 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. The name of W. R. Grace of Kent also comes up in connection with these wood pigeons. One scenario has Kent purchasing Boddy's business in the 1940s, continuing it with only one change; the decoy necks and heads became narrower and more tapered (See last photo). This decoy is of the older and larger style pictured on the right of the photo. Another possibility is that Grace was involved much earlier, perhaps even from the start, either as a partner or as the principal with Boddy being only the patentee of the mounting system. Stand not included. SOLD

Contact me about this item »

D0770: TRU-ISS Wood Pigeon Decoy

Very rare hollow English wood pigeon decoy made for the gunsmith firm of H. Trulock & Harriss, London, U.K., circa 1912. Made from a cast and chased aluminum alloy, it was patterned after wooden examples made for the famous gunmaker around the turn of the 20th century. The wooden versions are felt by many collectors to be the best examples of English wood pigeon extant. This decoy is in excellent original paint, portraying the bird's breeding plumage. It was made in three pieces; an upper body, a lower body and a spring-mounted head. The interiors of the upper and lower body halves of this decoy are each marked in pencil with Roman numeral ones (I), presumably to match up the proper halves so the painted plumage patterns would match. It is possible that the number one indicates this particular example was in fact the first decoy bird made in this pattern by the company. An integral wire stake is attached, designed along with the "bobble-head"to add motion to a set of birds. Cast true to the form of the wooden examples, these decoys have strongly emphasized shoulders and detailed primary and tail feathers. This particular decoy appears to be an early example of what was called the Tru-Iss decoy. It has impressed metal eyes and the wording "PATENT APPLIED". Later Tru-Iss examples had glass eyes, were marked "HARRISS'S PATENT No. 21550". The later version also showed an address of "PICKERING PLACE, ST. JAMES STREET, LONDON". While i cannot make out the address on this earlier example, it was not Pickering Place. The paint on later examples was an overall charcoal grey with a light rose tone to the breast. This pigeon measures 13 1/2" in length, 5" across at the shoulders and roughly 4" in depth, exclusive of the head. SOLD

Contact me about this item »

D0769: Feeding English Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1935

Feeding wood pigeon decoy by Harry Earnest Boddy, Walderslade, Kent, United Kingdom, circa 1935. The bird, painted in fall plumage, is in worn original paint with a very fine patina. It has screw eyes set in separate grommets to simulate eye rings, a cast metal beak and relief carved shoulders. It has been lightly hit with shot. The pigeon is hollowed from below with an inset metal plate marked "Pat. 431190" (Issued to Boddy in 1935) to hold a spike (missing} for setting the decoy in the ground. There is a clasp at back of tail to secure the folded spike. According to the patent documents, "...under the action of wind, it (the designed means of attachment) simulates the action of a feeding bird". The hollowed portion of the body in these decoys is made from a second piece of wood, nailed to the of the upper body. This second piece is curved on top to fit a corresponding concave curve in the upper piece. The decoy measures 14" in length and 4" in width. The name of W. R. Grace of Kent also comes up in connection with these wood pigeons. One scenario has Kent purchasing Boddy's business in the 1940s, continuing it with only one change; the decoy necks and heads became narrower and more tapered (See last photo). This decoy is of the older and larger style pictured on the right of the photo. Another possibility is that Grace was involved much earlier, perhaps even from the start, either as a partner or as the principal with Boddy being only the patentee of the mounting system. Stand not included. SOLD

Contact me about this item »

Page 16 of 30