M290: Runar Rodell Mallard Diorama

Excellent diorama by Runar G. Rodell (1898 - 1983), Prescott, Arizona, of a hen mallard on the shore calling to two drakes and a hen pitching in, circa 1950s. Born in Sweden, Rodell moved to the U.S. when in his thirties, opening a studio around 1935 in Wilmette, Illinois, before finally settling in Prescott around 1950. Each diorama he created was one-of-a-kind and offered a window into the natural wonders of his world. He combined oil-painted backgrounds and basswood carvings with natural materials inside a glass-covered box to create an outdoor scene. This diorama is in original condition and of the highest quality with the roughly 2-1/2" mallards exhibiting finely detailed painted plumage. The 22" x 22" x 3 1/2" deep frame (15" x 15" glass size) is pine. The work is signed in the lower left foreground, but the backboard, which is original, is unsigned and does not bear a label. Rodell's three-dimensional showcases are coveted collectors' items not only in museums around the country, but also were sought after by such celebrities as President Ronald Reagan, Andy Devine and Bing Crosby. One of his best customers was comedian Bob Hope. SOLD

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D0688: Ben Yeargan Mallard Drake Decoy, Circa 1932

Very stylish hollow-bodied, glass-eyed mallard drake in original condition by Ben Yeargan (1896 - 1973) of North St. Louis, Missouri. It has minor wear with a few scrapes and a well blended professional repair to a crack in the neck. The keel weight has been removed. Ben's initials, "B.Y.", are painted under the bill. Standing 7 1/2" high and 7" in width, the 16"-long decoy's head is turned slightly to the right. Yeargan, for many years a sports writer for the St. Louis Post Dispatch, is one of Missouri’s most famous decoy carvers. He hunted the Missouri River just above where the Missouri and the Mississippi converge. He made 2 rigs of decoys, one in 1932 and one in 1938. This decoy is from the earlier rig. It included over 20 canvasbacks and about 12 pairs of mallards. This decoy is pictured Collecting Bird Decoys and Duck Calls, Luckey & Lewis, pg. 116. SOLD

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D0744, William Jaggard English Wood Pigeon Decoy

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 half of the 1800s with examples ranging from the deeply carved examples sold by Trulock and Harriss and R. W. Ward to the more stylized slick-bodied examples of Robert Lange and William Jaggard. This excellent decoy was carved by William Jaggard of Elveden, Suffolk, United Kingdom, circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. Lightly used with a pleasing patina, this stylish pigeon is just under 14" in length, 3.75" in width and 3" in depth at the breast. It has relief carved shoulders and wings, a cast metal bill and glass eyes. The full-bodied carving is in original paint depicting the species' fall plumage. Jaggard, who carved from roughly 1930 through the mid-1950s, continued the carving business of his father-in-law, James Rolph. Stand included. SOLD

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M293, Exceptional Miniature Black Duck Decoy

Exceptionally well-executed miniature black duck, circa mid-20th century, carved at approximately one-third to one-half scale. It measures 8" in length and stands 3 3/4" high at the head. Although the carver is unknown, it is quite reminiscent of the miniatures made by the late Dr. George Ross Starr of Duxbury, Massachusetts, and sold in the Richard Bourne auction of his collection in 1986. The sculpted body displays carved wings with raised and separated wing tips, carved primaries and a fluted tail. The head is turned approximately 30 degrees to the left with glass eyes. The bill is quite detailed with carved separation from the head, nostrils and a raised nail. The original paint is beautifully detailed with overall scratch-feather paint on the body and finely applied feather paint on the head. There is a small amount of filler in the center of the lower breast, roughly the size of a quarter and about 3/16" deep. This filler was applied in-the-making, probably to remedy an overcut of the breast, and does not detract from the carving in the slightest. SOLD

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D0741: Harry Pember Calling Black Duck Decoy

Outstanding calling black duck decoy by Harry Pember of Milford, Connecticut, circa 3rd quarter of the 20th century. Harry hunted with old friends, including Tom Marshall, the Disbrow brothers and Keith Mueller, using decoys he carved for his own use, including this fine working bird. Made from 3 layers of dense cork with an inset wooden tail, the decoy remains in excellent original condition with only a couple of very small nicks to the paint. It has very extremely detailed bill and mouth carving, glass eyes and scratch-feather paint on the head, which is turned about 10 degrees to the left. The bird measures roughly 20" in length, 8" in height, including the keel, and is 8" wide.

Price: $575.00

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M286: Runar Rodell Canada Goose Diorama, Circa 1930s

Diorama of two Canada geese in a salt marsh setting by Runar G. Rodell, Wilmette, Illinois, circa 1930s. Rodell, born in Sweden in 1898, moved to the U.S. in his thirties, opening a studio around 1935 in Wilmette before finally settling in Prescott, AZ, around 1950. He died in 1983. His works usually incorporate oil-painted backgrounds and figures (people, animals, birds, buildings, etc.) carved from basswood with plant materials created from bits of natural vegetation in the foreground. Among his collectors were Bob Hope and Ronald Reagan. It is believed that all of his work made in Prescott had a paper studio label on the back, whereas his work from Illinois was simply signed on the back. This piece is in original condition with the roughly 2-1/2" geese exhibiting detailed painted plumage. Geese were a relatively rare subject matter for Rodell. It is signed "Original by R. Rodell, Canada Goose" on the back. The overall dimensions of the diorama are 12 3/4" x 15" with the glass measuring roughly 7 5/8" x 9 5/8". The oak case is 3 1/2" deep. The dark area at the top of the first two photos is the curved top surface of the diorama which is in shadow. SOLD

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D0740: Dan English Black Duck Decoy

Outstanding classic Delaware River black duck decoy with impeccable provenance by Dan English (1883-1962) of Florence, New Jersey. Dan was the son of John English and brother of Jack English, both carvers of fine Delaware River style decoys. This decoy is one of a rig made for Clarence Winter of Bristol, Pennsylvania, and referred to by collector's as "Winter's Famous Fifty". The hollow-bodied bird, in excellent original feather paint, has glass eyes, a low or contented head position, outlined feathers, raised primaries and a notched tail. There is a slight chip on the left edge of the bill and some small paint rubs on the crown of head, the point of the raised primaries and the edge of the notched tail. The carving measures 15" in length, 5.5' in width and is 6" high at the head. The lead weight on the bottom is attached with twelve brass escutcheon pins. "C. Winter" is stamped twice into the weight and once into the bottom of decoy. Winter's stencil, reading "C. W. Winter, Bristol, PA" is visible on the bottom. It also has the collection stamp of Bob White, noted carver, collector and decoy historian, on the bottom. In the last photo, in addition to the Bob White collection stamp, you can best see the white Winter stencil. See "Floating Sculpture", Huster and Knight, for documentation and photos of Dan and Winter's rig. SOLD

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N007: Vintage Bluebill Decoy Patterns, Rochester, New York, Circa 1960s

Group of bluebill decoy patterns, heads and castings consisting of twelve pieces. The cast metal heads are quite detailed, even showing rasping for texture, immediately bringing to mind the work of Ken Anger of Dunnville, Ontario. Included are 5 hardboard body section patterns for a laminated full-sized body, a head pattern for that body, a carved wood head made from that pattern (2 halves glued together), a carved wood half-head from that pattern, two cast metal half-heads (one has a Plaster of Paris bill makeover) and two hardboard routed patterns of the same head. These are part of a larger group by an unknown maker that I purchased a number of years ago from an estate in Rochester. Several of the patterns, not included in this listing, were made from a 1968 calender from Brace-Mueller-Huntley, Inc., of Rochester, Syracuse and Albany, New York. The calendar indicates that the industrial company worked with aluminum, brass and plastic, although in what capacity I have not been able to determine. I surmise that the maker of these patterns very possibly worked for B-M-H in some capacity, perhaps as a pattern-maker. The complete 125-pieces group includes miniature, half-scale and full-scale patterns of over a dozen species of waterfowl and shorebirds as well as a number of both carved and cast (Plaster of Paris and metal) heads. Although the maker is currently unknown, the number and quality of the pieces surely point to a highly skilled craftsman with a relatively high volume of work. He appears to have made both decorative carvings and working decoys and may have made half or full-bodied figures or plaques, cast or molded from plastic or metal. These patterns are a piece of history that deserve preservation and recognition.

Price: $120.00

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