M362: Leo McIntosh Preening Yellowlegs Decoy

Fine carving of a preening "blind" yellowlegs by Leo H. McIntosh (1953 - 2007), Stony Creek Decoys, Woodville, New York, 1990. Recognized as one of the best contemporary carvers before his untimely death, Leo apprenticed with Ken Harris for five years before founding Stony Creek Decoys. The decoy is done in an antiqued finish with Seaford style “S” shoulder/wing carving. It has raised wing tips, measuring 8” from tail tip to breast, and is in near mint condition with only extremely minor rubs to the wing tips and on the breast (see third and fourth photos). “L. H. McIntosh, 1990, Woodville, N.Y.” is cold-stamped around the stick hole on the bottom of the bird. “Yellow Leg” has been hand lettered on the bottom of the base.

Price: $975.00

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D0884: Wayne Shaddock Ontario Black Duck Decoy

Excellent solid-bodied, glass-eyed black duck with a slightly turned head by Wayne Shaddock (1942-2001), Belleville and Trenton, Ontario, circa 1960s. The decoy is in near mint original paint other than a narrow stripe of touch up (sealer or varnish?) to two thin age cracks on the left side of the decoy. It has carved primaries, a fluted tail and carved side pockets and is marked on the bottom with Wayne's early "W" brand made with a heated piece of wire. The head is especially well detailed with carved mandibles, nostrils and nail and a unique and attractive feather paint. The decoy measures 15" in length, 4-1/2' in width and stands 5-1/2' tall at the head. Shaddock began carving as a teenager, making working and decorative decoys over a combined span of 35 years. He was proud of having birds in Buckingham Palace and in the collection of King Hussain of Jordan.

Price: $750.00

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D0880: Rare Red-Backed Sandpiper Decoy, Circa Late 1800s

Excellent early and rare full-bodied red-backed or spotted sandpiper decoy, maker and origin unknown, circa late 1800s. Measuring 8-1/2" from the tip of the bill to the end of the tail and approximately 1-3/4" in diameter, it is in original paint and retains what are most likely its original iron legs. The iron bill is a professional replacement. The slight reddish undertone of the paint on the back, along with overall size of the decoy and its bill, suggest that it was intended to be a red-backed sandpiper (dunlin). There are several tight cracks in its head, and the decoy has been lightly hit by shot, otherwise the structural condition is excellent. Rusted remnants of the shanks of tacks or nails which were used as the eyes remain. Stand included.

Price: $425.00

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M363: Louisiana Bobwhite Quail, Circa 2 Q, 20 C.

Vintage bob white quail by an unknown maker, carved in approximately one-half scale from a single piece of cypress root, including the base. Although it stands 6.25" tall, it is very lightweight, weighing only 2.5 ounces. The carving was found in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and appears to be circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. Other than some touch up to the legs and bill, the carving is in original paint with a nice patina. The base was broken off just above the feet and at one time and professionally rejoined with the body. A very nice carving showing good age!

Price: $145.00

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D0879: Superb 19th Century English Wood Pigeon Decoy

This is the first decoy by this maker that I’ve seen. It’s quite old, perhaps the oldest I’ve been able to document. My best guess is circa 1875. Because the style is so different from anything I’ve seen, I’m presently unable to name a probable area of origin, other than the United Kingdom. Measuring 14” in length and 4” across the shoulders, it is quite sculptural with a high head and an upsloped tail spliced (last photo) into a full and well conformed body. The wing tips are raised and deeply incised while the shoulders are softly carved. Other than for touch up at the professionally replaced bill, the decoy is in original paint with a very light but pleasing craquelure texture in some areas. The red-orange eyes are old and unusual taxidermy eyes. Stand not included.

Price: $1725.00

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D0877: Bert Graves Mallard Hen Decoy, Circa 2Q, 20C

Hollow-bodied, glass-eyed mallard hen decoy by G. Bert Graves (1880-1956), Peoria, Illinois, circa 2nd Q, 20th C. Graves was named by William F. Mackey, Jr., a foremost decoy historian, as one of the first four of Midwestern (Illinois River) hand decoy makers, along with Charles Walker, Robert Elliston and Charles Perdew. A professional carpenter and boat builder, he went into the production of quality decoys in the mid-1920s, if not sooner, and continued their production until 1944 when he left Peoria for the West Coast. The decoy is in original paint with several small area of flaking and touchup to a small professional tail chip repair. Measuring approximately 17" long, 7" tall, and 6" wide, it is missing the Graves keel weight. SOLD

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M361: "Charlie Mac" McWilliams North Carolina Decoy, Circa 2Q, 20C

Rare miniature preening or sleeping duck decoy carving by Charles Caswell "Charlie Mac" McWilliams (1892-1972) of Ocracoke, NC, circa 2nd Q, 20th C. He was a guide at the legendary Green Island Hunting Club before it burned to the ground in 1933. in 1921, the schooner Carroll A. Deering ran aground off Cape Hatteras with all crew members apparently lost. "Charlie Mac" was rumored to have used wood from the shipwreck in making his decoys. Because this cedar example was left unpainted, it is difficult to tell what species it represents; however, as the hunt club was noted for its redheads, Canada geese and brant, I am guessing this miniature may be a redhead. Roughly half scale, it measures 9 1/2" from tail tip to breast and has carved wing outlines. It is signed "C. C. McWilliams, Ocracoke, N. C." on the bottom. McWilliams later was a well known local figure, serving as the mailman in Ocracoke for many years.

Price: $350.00

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D0874: Pair of BURBO Wood Pigeon Decoys, Circa 2Q, 20C

Set of two paper mache wood pigeons, circa early 1st quarter, 20th century. While these decoys are unmarked, another example exists that is known to be marked "BURBO", as sold by West and Son, Gunsmiths, Retford, UK. That partnership was dissolved in 1908. There are also unmarked cast metal examples of these decoys known. I suspect that the cast metal examples may have proven to be too expensive to manufacture, resulting in those decoys being used as forms from which the paper mache models were later made. I’ve seen several paper mache examples in the past, but none as nice as these. Rigors of weather and the hunt took there toll on many of these more fragile decoys. In original paint, there is flaking to the primer on the glass-eyed bodies and heads. While the bodies were made entirely of heavy paper, soaked in an adherent and laid over the cast metal forms, the heads appear to consist of small doweled wooden forms, left in place and overlaid with paper mache finishes as well. There is light shot scarring on both birds, attesting to their field use. These are large decoys, measuring 15” in length and 6” in width. Meant to be set directly on the ground, they also measure 6” from the hollow bottoms to the crowns of the heads. As can be seen photos, the heads can be rotated to any position, giving a more realistic appearance to the spread of decoys.

Price: $465.00

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