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

Contact me about this item »

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

Contact me about this item »

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

Contact me about this item »

M311: Unknown Cock Pheasant from Massachusetts

Unknown cock pheasant found in Massachusetts, circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. Very nice carving in original condition with painted eyes, carved crests, molded thighs and wire legs. The rich polychrome paint is beautifully done with intricate feather detail and displays a very nice patina. I find the vivid colors of this carving to be especially appealing. A light crazing serves only to enhance its overall appearance. As seen in the last two photos, there is very light "puppy chew" to the tip of the tail. The carving measures just over 10" in length from the tip of the bill to the tip of the tail and stands roughly 7" high including the base which is covered on the bottom with a heavyweight construction paper. SOLD

Contact me about this item »

M291: Delaware River Standing Pintail Drake

Standing pintail drake by William "Bid" Furness (1909-1965), an upper Delaware River carver from National Park, New Jersey, circa 1950s. Roughly 2/3-scale carving with a 2-piece laminated body, glass eyes, inset tail sprig, incised bill and nostrils and raised wingtips. The bold feather paint displays a nice patina with light crazing and is original except for touch up where the two legs join the body (professional repair by Steve Weaver). As seen in the photos, there are slight separations of the neck joint and the body seam on the left side of the car4ving. The carving measures about 16" in length from the tip of the sprig to the tip of the bill and stands 9-1/2" tall at the head. It closely resembles the work of John McLoughlin of Bordentown, NJ, a contemporary of Furness. The underside of one foot is signed "Furness Decoys", the other, "Furness". "339 (334?) Noyes" is written in ink on the bottom of the duck and "Noyes" is scratched into the black paint under the tail. Fred Noyes, founder of the Noyes Museum in Brigantine, NJ, is known to have purchased decoys from "Bid" for display in his restaurant around 1959. This carving was acquired by John Delph when it was deaccessioned from the Noyes Museum. See Decoy Magazine, Jan/Feb 1991, pgs. 24-27, for an article on Furness by Charles Seidel. SOLD

Contact me about this item »

D0756: Joe Lincoln Black-Bellied Plover Shorebird Decoy

Excellent full-bodied split-tailed black-bellied plover with tack eyes with painted pupils and irises, circa 1st quarter, 20th century. The decoy is from the rig of Henry Oakes of Gloucester, Massachusetts, and skillfully painted by him, although it may be an early decoy by Joe Lincoln of Accord. It measures 10-1/2" from the tip of bill to the tip of the tail. A dowel was inserted through the crown of the head and into the body to strengthen the neck. It did its job as there was a tight crack in the neck which has been repaired with touch up to that area. There was also a rough area on top of the tip of the original bill which has been repaired and touched up. Stand not included. SOLD

Contact me about this item »

D0755: Massachusetts Greater Yellowlegs or Willet Shorebird Decoy

Very well done greater yellowlegs or willet decoy with excellent form attributed to Henry Oakes (1900-1973), Gloucester, Massachusetts, circa 1st quarter, 20th century. It is in the somewhat extended or standing pose of what were called "grass birds". The full-bodied decoy is carved with a split tail and measures just over 15" in length, measured from the tip of the bill to the end of the tail. It has tack eyes with painted pupils and irises and retains its original bill. The paint is also original but has flaked, particularly on the back and upper sides. SOLD

Contact me about this item »

M312: James Ahearn Miniature Bufflehead Drake

Miniature bufflehead drake by James Joseph "Joe" Ahearn (1904-1963) of Stamford, CT, circa 1950. The carving, mounted on a driftwood or cedar root base, is in excellent original condition with incised wings, wire legs and webbed metal feet. Ahearn skillfully captured the irridesence of the bird's plumage with his highly detailed feather paint. The bufflehead is 2-7/8" in length from bill to tail and stands 2-1/2" tall, including the base. It is signed "J. J. Ahearn, Bufflehead M(ale)" on the base. 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. 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 the 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. SOLD

Contact me about this item »

Page 19 of 31