D0212: Warren Dettman Mallard Drake Decoy

Hollow-carved mallard drake decoy with raised split wingtips, detailed bill carving, an applied bottom board, glass eyes and near-mint original paint. It measures 16" in length, 7" in width and is almost 8" high at the head. The decoy is attributed to Warren Dettman of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, circa 1935, by most auction catalogs, but that attribution is questioned by some. "Whistling Wings, Whittled Ducks and Wetlands", a publication of the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM), states, "Judging from an apparently early pair of mallards still in the family, Dettman first tried making bodies by hollowing a large block of wood from underneath, then covering the opening with a board. Perhaps dissatisfied with the technique, or unable to get large blocks of wood, Dettman turned to producing bodies from laminated pine boards, cutting out the centers of the middle ones before gluing all together", as detailed in the publication referenced above. This decoy is constructed in the earlier style. It is definitely from the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) "school". Dettman was a taxidermist at MPM and taught others, particularly WPA workers hired by the museum, to carve decoys. There is a possibility that these decoys were carved by one of those students. Deltacraft Plan No. 4642, Duck Decoys, shows a plan to make this decoy, including a photo of a near identical example on its cover. Deltacraft was part of Delta Manufacturing Co., Milwaukee. The plan shows that it was drawn by "E.H." and designed by Ed Hamilton. No Milwaukee collector I've spoken to seems to know the name. Whoever developed the design in that plan, not a later carver using the plan, made this decoy. See Items M053 and D0720 in the “Sold" section of this website for a Deltacraft pattern that was developed from these decoys as well as mallard hen by the same carver. This drake and the Deltacraft plan are pictured on page 137 of "Collecting Antique Bird Decoys and Duck Calls" by Luckey and Lewis.

Price: $3250.00

Contact me about this item »

D0720: Warren Dettman Mallard Hen Decoy

Solid-bodied mallard hen decoy with carved raised wings, glass eyes and strong original detailed scratch-feather paint, circa 1930s. It measures 16.5" in length, 7" in width and is almost 8" high at the head. The decoy is attributed to Warren Dettman of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, circa 1935, by most of the decoy auction houses, but that attribution is questioned by some. The decoy is definitely from the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) "school". Dettman was a taxidermist at MPM and taught others, particularly WPA workers hired by the museum, to carve decoys. There is a possibility that these decoys were carved by one of those students. See D0212 in this section for a hollow mallard drake attributed to Dettman. The two decoys are definitely by the same hand but are stylistically different. SOLD

Contact me about this item »

D0621: Upstate New York Redhead Drake Decoy

Excellent solid-bodied, glass-eyed redhead drake decoy by an unknown carver from Niagara Falls, New York, circa 1st quarter, 20th century. One of a small rig of redheads and scaup found around 1990, it has a well-rounded body with upturned tail and unique head and bill carving. The decoy is in bold original paint with a highly stylized wingtip paint pattern. This bird is one of the few that survived in original paint. I have seen several others from that rig that had the initials "EK" carved into the bottoms. It measures approximately 13.5" in length, 6.5" in width and 6.5" high at the top of the head. Great example of American folk art! See the Adrian Morris Antiques website for a scaup by this same carver priced at $2450.00! SOLD

Contact me about this item »

D0722: English Wood Pigeon Decoy

Well done English wood pigeon decoy by an unknown carver, circa 1930. Other than for touch-up to a bill repair, the decoy is in light to moderately worn original paint depicting the breeding plumage. Solid-bodied with glass eyes and deeply carved shoulders, it is in excellent structural condition other than the aforementioned bill repair. The bird measures approximately 15" from the tip of the bill to the tip of the tail. The stand 1s included. SOLD

Contact me about this item »

D0723: J. Zender Illinois River Green-Winged Teal Decoy

Rare hollow-bodied, tack-eyed green-winged teal hen decoy by Joseph A. Zender (1888 - 1960) of Chicago, Illinois, circa 1930s. The immaculately detailed and richly hued mint original feather paint of this outstanding decoy is protected by a light coat of varnish or other clear sealer. There is a very tight hairline crack on the right side of the bill near the decoy's face, otherwise the structural condition is excellent. Zender carved approximately 200 decoys over a period of roughly 15 years, beginning around 1929. An avid hunter, he was a member of the Peru Gun Club and shot over his decoys on some of the finest water the region had to offer. The bird measures 12" in length x 5.5" in width x 7" in height. In my mind, one of the finest Illinois River teal out there! SOLD

Contact me about this item »

M249: Frank Adams Miniature Mallard Drake Decoy Paperweight

Large size mallard drake decoy paperweight by Edward Francis "Frank" Adams (1871 - 1944) of West Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard, MA, circa 1930s. The carving retains Adams' full paper label on the bottom which reads, "E. Frank Adams, Duck Paperweights, Marine Vanes, West Tisbury, Mass". There has been a professional repair to a break in the neck with touch up to that area. Other than a small area of flaking at the tip of the tail, the original paint is in excellent condition with soft feather painting. A favorite with folk art collectors, most of Adams' paperweights were much smaller, measuring 3" to 4" in length. This example is much more rare, measuring 10" in length, 4" in width and standing 3" tall at the crown of the head. His work is chronicled in detail in "Martha's Vineyard Decoys" by Stanley Murphy.

Price: $450.00

Contact me about this item »

M215: Early Carved Quail Family on Tree Fungus

Rare and early carved family of quail, including 2 adults and 3 chicks with wire legs, mounted on inverted shelf fungi, by an unidentified Michigan carver, circa 1900. This carving is pictured in full color on page 289 of Linda and Gene Kangas' excellent new book, "Great Lake Decoy Interpretations". Each bird has early "hat pin" black glass eyes, rasped feather texture and carved wings. On the two adults, even the primaries are separately carved. Structurally excellent, the delicate carving details and fine original feather paint are of the highest quality. The paint shows very minor wear with some light flaking. The tip of the bill of the chick to the right is very slightly blunted. Each adult measures approximately 6" in length while the chicks are each approximately 4" long. The overall piece, including the custom-made stand, is 16" long x 9" high x 6" deep. SOLD

Contact me about this item »

D0721: Fred Allen Bluebill Drake Decoy

A well-proportioned and rare hollow-bodied bluebill drake attributed to Fred Allen (1838 - 1912), Monmouth, Illinois, circa 4th quarter of the 19th century. The decoy is in original paint with good patina and combed paint on the back, showing moderate flaking and wear. These decoys are fitted with a gasket to prevent leakage at the body seam. Measuring approximately 12" in length, 6" in width and 6.5" in height, it is structurally excellent with no cracks or breaks and a tight body seam. The left eye is cracked but intact. The decoy's lead weight has notches, perhaps purposeful, on each end, two on one and five on the other, designating the number "25" perhaps. The bird was formerly in the collection of Joe French, with his collection number (152) on the bottom. Information from Joe French's written records, as provided by Joe Tonelli, show that French purchased this decoy on 6/24/55 from Frank Eckard of Putnam, IL. Eckard was caretaker for the big Sanachine Gun Club. Controversy surrounds the identification of the carver of these fine birds. A solid majority of them were originally found in southwest Minnesota, leading many to speculate that they are the work of either John Tax or john Tax, Sr. Where the identification of Allen as the carver originated is unknown; however, no mention of him having made or sold decoys can be found in any of the printed ads for his products. Allen, a frequent advertiser in sporting publications in the late 1800s, was perhaps best known for his patented bow-facing oars and duck calls. His work, some of the earliest documented from the Illinois River region, is chronicled in numerous decoy books and publications, including Decoys and Decoy Carvers of Illinois by Parmalee and Loomis.

Price: $2995.00

Contact me about this item »

Page 25 of 30