D0862: Early Unknown Cheshire English Wood Pigeon

Very nice wood pigeon decoy by an unknown English carver, circa 1920s - 1930s. Hunted on a farm in Cheshire, UK, it is likely from that area. The decoy is in very good original condition with glass eyes and carved raised wings. A gouge was used on the underside to partially hollow out the decoy, presumably to make it lighter so it would move in the wind when mounted on a stake. A big, broad-backed decoy, it measures 5 " across the shoulders and 13 1/2" in length. There is a tight age split running from the bird's crown to the back (see third photo). Hand-whittled with knife marks visible, variations in size and structure between this decoy and its rigmate, D0861, lead me to believe that they were carved by a hunter for his personal use rather than by a commercial maker. The last photo shows this decoy along with its rigmate, available separately. The two exhibit an individuality not always seen in their commercially produced counterparts, a sort of “swagger”, if you will! Stand not included.

Price: $550.00

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D0860: Early TRU-ISS Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1909-1911

Rare hollow English wood pigeon decoy made for the gunsmith firm of H. Trulock & Harriss, London, U.K. Made from a cast and chased aluminum alloy, it was patterned after wooden examples made for the famous gunmaker around circa 1909-1911. The wooden versions are felt by many collectors to be the best examples of English wood pigeon extant. This decoy retains its original glass eyes and is in excellent original paint, retaining most of the red breast and bill paint, dark gray back and wings, black wingtips and tail bar and typical white markings at the wing edges and neck. The decoy was made in three pieces; an upper body, a lower body and a spring-mounted head. An integral wire stake is attached, designed, along with the"bobble-head", to allow 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 decoy has three impressed notations on its lower half: "THE TRU-ISS DECOY, PATENT APPLIED No. 21550", "H. TRULOCK HARRISS GUNMAKER" AND “22 BURY STREET, ST. JAMES STREET, LONDON S.W.”. This address dates the decoy to 1909-1911. Later examples (1911-1916) are stamped "THE TRU-ISS DECOY, HARRISS'S PATENT No. 21550", "H. TRULOCK HARRISS GUNMAKER" AND “PICKERING PLACE, ST. JAMES STREET, LONDON”. This early decoy includes several design elements missing in later examples, including the means of attaching the head spring and wire stake to the body as well as an alignment stud for the body halves, that I can only assume were changed to reduce costs in later decoys. Interestingly, the number "6" is written in pencil inside each body half, presumably meaning that certain adjustments were made to insure a proper fit and that those two pieces should remain mated rather than mixed with those of other examples. The pigeon measures 13 1/2" in length, 5" across at the shoulders and roughly 4" in depth, exclusive of the head. The original 2-piece box, the only one I’ve ever seen, is in fair to good condition. it has a tear across the top but remains stable. SOLD

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D0857/D0858: Early Seneca Lake Canvasback Decoy Pair

Very nice pair of solid-bodied canvasback decoys by H. Seymour "Putt" Smith (1878-1947), Geneva, New York, circa 1920-1930, used in Dresden Bay on Seneca Lake in upstate New York's Finger Lakes region. Both have a slightly accentuated ridge at the centerline of the backs with tapered sides on the bottom halves of the decoys. Each measures approximately 16" in length, 6.5" in width and 8" in height. They have high quality glass eyes and are in original paint except for touchup to professional neck repairs on each decoy. Structurally sound, the drake shows moderate wear while the hen has only light wear. There is a small piece of wood on the left side of the drake which was added in the making to widen the body. It remains firmly affixed with no shrinkage or separation. The drake has also been lightly hit by shot on the left side of the decoy.

Price: $975.00

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D0855: Early Yorkshire Wood Pigeon Decoy, Unknown Carver

Sleek 12-1/2" long wood pigeon decoy by an unknown carver, circa 1880 - 1890. Decoys by this maker are among the earliest from the Yorkshire area. It is smooth bodied with a pronounced breast, very much like the earliest of Robert Lange’s decoys. The tail, neck and head are more slender, almost delicate, than most. This bird is in original paint except for touch up to a professional bill repair and around the eyes which have been replaced. The replacements are accurately sized and colored. There is moderate weathering and wear to the paint, particularly on the left side and back of the decoy. Decoys from the Yorkshire area are among the best to be found. See my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers for additional information. Stand included. SOLD

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D0854: Unknown Yorkshire Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa Late 1800s

Among the earliest of the decoys from the Yorkshire area, this bird was made by an unknown maker, circa 1880 - 1890. Fitted with the original glass eyes and measuring 12-1/2" in length, it is smooth bodied with a pronounced breast, very much like the earliest of Robert Lange’s decoys. The tail, neck and head are more slender, almost delicate, than most. The paint and bill are original, although there is a tiny chip to the very tip of the bill. The breast is nicely mottled as typically seen in the Yorkshire birds and the overall paint is well patinated. Overall an exceptional decoy from a region noted for high quality. See my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers for additional information. Stand included. SOLD

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D0856: Unknown Wood Pigeon Decoy, London, UK, Circa 1920 - 1930

Nicely formed wood pigeon decoy in original paint by an unknown carver, circa 1920 - 1930. Although the paint pattern is rather straight forward, it is nonetheless typical and quite effective with the white nape and wing patches and the red breast signifying the breeding plumage. The 13-1/2" full-bodied decoy has glass eyes, carved wing outlines and gouge-carved feathering, particularly in the tail area. More importantly, the wingtips are raised and heavily carved and the tail is fluted in a manner similar to that of decoys by R. Ward Company, Trulock & Harris and the Geo. G. Bussey Co., Ltd., all makers from the London area, indicators that this decoy is likely from that area as well. Although this is the only example I am aware of by this maker, the overall form and quality point to this being a commercially produced example, most likely by a cottage industry. See my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers for additional information. Stand included. SOLD

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M354: Philippe Sirois Ruffed Grouse

Rare standing ruffed grouse by Philippe Sirois (1893-1980), Arrowsic, Maine, circa 1950s. Full-size (17" long) folk carving of a standing grouse mounted on a 25" long cedar log base base. The carving has incised wings and exhibits highly detailed feather paint. The piece is in original paint with touchup to minor flaking at the neck seam and the topknot is a well-done and accurate professional replacement. Of French-Canadian heritage, Sirois was born along the St. Lawrence River in Canada. One of seventeen children, his family moved to Maine around 1899. With virtually no schooling, the illiterate Sirois held various jobs in the textile and pulp industries, spending his spare time outdoors, fishing virtually every body of water Maine had to offer. Employing a basic system of brush strokes visible as dots, stripes, blends and washes, Sirois applied layer upon layer of rich color to help produce the look of a live bird.

Price: $1100.00

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D0853: Mason Standard Grade Glass-Eye Pintail Drake Decoy

Exceptionally nice Standard Grade glass-eyed pintail drake by the Mason Factory, Detroit, Michigan, circa 1910. The decoy has an extended "sprig" tail and is in original paint with light wear and discoloration. Measuring 17-1/2" in length, it is structurally excellent with no age splits and retains its original neck filler. Hard to find these in this condition!

Price: $1195.00

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