M322: E. B. Worthley Miniature Hissing Canada Goose

Superb miniature hissing or feeding Canada goose carved by E. B. Worthley, circa 3rd quarter, 20th century. The carving was found in Vermont and although the area of origin is unknown with certainty, it most likely is from the New England area, if not specifically Vermont. The goose measures just over 6" in length from the tail to the tip of the bill and stands 3" tall, including the oak base. It is branded "Worthley" and "E. B. Worthley" on the base. The form is excellent, faithfully recreating the musculature and form of the live bird, from the extended neck to the extended tail and raised wing tips. Tiny glass eyes and finely detailed bill carving complete the sculpture. The original feather paint was accomplished with great skill and attention to detail, resulting in a most lifelike carving. As seen in the last photo, there is a small chip missing from the lower wing tip and a fine crack in the gesso of the right thigh. SOLD

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D0762: Jake Ferreira Pintail Drake

Excellent solid-bodied pintail drake with tack eyes by Joseph A. "Jake" Ferreira (1904-1981) of Newark, California, circa 1935. Jake was known as one of the area's most stylish and inventive decoy carvers, making nearly one thousand most remarkable pintail decoys to be used by hunting clubs in San Francisco's South Bay in the 1930's and 1940's. Nothing similar to his decoys is to be found elsewhere in the West. Although Ferreira used patterns, each decoy is slightly different from the others, yet they shared the characteristics of raised wingtips in a Delaware River style, thin necks and simple but effective paint patterns. This decoy, measuring 19" in length and a full 9" in height at the head, displays especially fine form with a streamlined body and an elegant high neck. The paint is all original except for a small area of touch up at a well-executed professional repair to a crack in the neck. The high quality brownish-green paint on the body of the decoy was "borrowed" by Jake while working at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. There is light chipping to the wing tips and tail tip with paint loss to those areas as well as some paint loss to small spots on one side of the tail, the crown of the head and the tip of the bill. There is also a tight and very slight age split in the back of the decoy. See pgs. 220 - 222, Wildfowl Decoys of the Pacific Coast, Miller and Hanson. SOLD

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D0760: Harry Turvey Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1922

Excellent solid-bodied English wood pigeon decoy with cast aluminum alloy head and glass eyes by Harry William Turvey (1876-Unk.), Holloway, Belper, United Kingdom, circa 1922. A copper tag attached to the bottom of the decoy references British Patent No. 193738 which was issued to Turvey on April 13, 1922. The patent is not for the pigeon itself, but for the mounting system which allowed the pigeon to move by means of springs and wires in conjunction with the attached mounting plate. The cast aluminum alloy head is quite rare, but apparently not covered by the patent. It is attached to the body by what appears to be a nail driven into the body through a hole cast into the head. The wooden body is extremely well-carved with flowing lines, a fluted tail, carved wing outlines and finely carved primaries similar to what Elmer Crowell did with his better early shorebirds. The paint is all original and nicely aged with a pleasing patina. The decoy measures just over 15" in length. Several of these decoys have been found with "Dreadnaught" stamped into the bottom. One in particular was stamped in that manner along with the patent number, leading me to believe that was the name given these decoys by Turley. 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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M310: Warfield Bobwhite Hen and Chicks

Outstanding bobwhite hen with three chicks by the nationally-recognized husband-wife carving team of Robert and Virginia Warfield, Jaffrey, New Hampshire, 1970. The Warfields began carving in 1965 and devoted the next twenty-five years until Robert's death in 1990 to studying birds in their natural habitats in order to perfect their carvings and make them life–like. Robert carved the birds from basswood while Virginia woodburned and painted them with oils. The fact that the Warfields made over 7,000 birds during their careers attests to the popularity of their work. Overall, this carving is approximately 17" long and 6-1/2" high. The hen measures 7-1/2" from bill to tail while each chick is about 2-1/4" long. The hen is extremely well detailed with carved primaries and tertiaries and a fluted tail. The legs are very realistic and were formed using a process developed by the Warfields. All four birds have taxidermy glass eyes and are in near-mint original feather paint. The Warfields' work is featured in both the Winter 1974 and the Fall/Winter 1981 issues of North American Decoys. SOLD

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D0758: Rare Mason Premier-Pattern Blue-Winged Teal Decoy, Wm E. Pratt Mfg. Co.

Exceptional glass-eyed Model No. 4 blue-winged teal hen by the William E. Pratt Manufacturing Company of Joliet and Chicago, Illinois, circa mid-1920s. In 1923, Pratt purchased the Mason Decoy Company's assets. This decoy is patterned after Mason's Premier model. It has never been rigged and is in outstanding original condition with some crazing and a fine patina. It is lightweight, probably made from balsa. In one product catalog, the company described the Model No. 4 decoys as being "made from airwood which is a South American cane lighter than cork, does not crack, is strong, durable and takes paint well. These decoys, while expensive, are the very best decoys we make". Unfortunately for collectors, the decoys were not as durable as envisioned.. Ken Trayer, author of "North American Factory Decoys", told me, "These were one of their more expensive decoys and rare due to balsa not resisting any rough handling. Thus, few of this model survived. This decoy could not have been used at all or was owned by someone who took care of their possessions. Be happy, this is a rare survivor. I am not remembering seeing another and certainly not in this condition". I've searched numerous books and decoy auction catalogs and have yet to find a similar example of this rare factory decoy. It measures 13 1/2" in length and stands 6" high at the head. Be the first (and perhaps only) kid in your neighborhood to own one!! SOLD

Price: $1295.00

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D0757: Edward Arthur Grace Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1950s

Excellent solid-bodied English wood pigeon decoy by Edward Arthur Grace, Walderslade, Kent, United Kingdom, circa 1950s. The bird, painted in fall plumage, is in well-blended and detailed original feather paint with an extremely nice patina and near-mint condition. A very well-formed bird, it has screw eyes set in separate shoe eyelets to simulate eye rings, a cast metal bill and relief carved shoulders. Grace purchased Harry Boddy's decoy business in 1951, continuing it with relatively minor changes that can make the decoys by the two men difficult to distinguish between. Grace made his decoys with narrower and more tapered heads and necks (See last photo; Grace is on the left) and painted his decoys with a lighter palette than seen on those by Boddy. Grace operated the business full time until 1957 and continued part time until 1977. This decoy measures 14" in length and 4" in width. 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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D0752: Francis Rolph Wood Pigeon, Circa 1900 - 1910

English wood pigeon decoy attributed to Francis Rolph of Lakenheath, Suffolk, United Kingdom, circa 1900 - 1910. He was the area's largest dealer in all manner of birds and game. After inquiries from customers, he began making decoys as early as 1880, concentrating on pigeon decoys. The body is somewhat rectangular in cross section, reflecting the exclusive use of hand tools in the making of his decoys. Lightly used with a pleasing patina, this stylish pigeon with its original wooden bill and separately carved head is slightly oversized, measuring almost 15" in length, 3.75" in width and slightly over 3" in depth at the breast. It has relief carved shoulders and wings and white glass eyes. The full-bodied carving is in original paint depicting the species' fall plumage. The separately carved head is most unusual in decoys of this species. In fact, his decoys are the only ones I've seen by English carvers displaying this characteristic. Francis was the father of James Rolph, himself a decoy maker and father-in-law of William Jaggard who joined the family business in the early 1930s. James Rolph's decoys are quite similar to those of his father except that the heads are carved as part of the body rather than separately. When found, the paper portion of a .410 gauge shotgun shell had been inserted in the stick hole to reduce its diameter. It reads, "Jeffery's Special Club, 9 Golden Square, London W. I., Trade ( "J" in an oval) Mark". It was made by W. J. Jeffery & Co, a London gunsmith and sporting wholesaler/retailer in the early 1930s. The business was located in the Golden Square address from 1927 - 1957. Stand not included. SOLD

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M320: Paul Nock Standing Green-Winged Teal Drake

Fine standing green-winged teal drake by Paul Nock (1912-2005) of Salisbury, Maryland, signed and dated 1971 on the bottom of the driftwood base. The carving is in outstanding original condition, marred only by a small rub on the bird's crest, a little roughness on the edge of the tail and slight crazing and wear on the primary feathers of the wings. The carving is texturally superb with individually carved crest feathers, fluted and barbed tail feathers and a light overall rasping. The primaries, side pockets and bill are carved in great detail, resulting in a most life-like rendition. Mentored by his close friends, Lem and Steve Ward, Paul has showcased his painting skills at his best in this exceptional piece. Carved in roughly 2/3-scale, the bird measures 9-1/2" from the tip of the bill to the tip of the tail. Including the base, it is 14" wide and 7" high. An accomplished carver, Nock has won top awards at the US National and International Decoy Contests and was an instigating force in the formation of the Salisbury carving show which would eventually become the Ward Foundation. SOLD

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