D0711: Virginia Eastern Shore Curlew Decoy

Rare fat-bodied painted-eye Hudsonian curlew (whimbrel) decoy from Virginia's Eastern Shore, circa 1880, worn to bare wood and measuring roughly 12 1/2" in length. The decoy has the carved raised wings often associated with some of the decoys from the superlative William Matthews rig (Chincoteague, VA) and from the famous shorebirds of Cobb Island, although the wing carving on this decoy is deeper and more exaggerated than often seen. The tail is also more prominent, in something of a small paddle shape with a ridge down the top center. The small right lobe of the tail and the tip of the wings have been broken off. The base of the bill where it enters the head appears to be original; however, the last 3" of the bill is a very well done old replacement. There also appears to be a small amount of old filler on each side of the neck at the base where several small chips were repaired. Nonetheless, this is a fine and extremely desirable old gunning bird from an area rich in hunting tradition. Stand not included. SOLD

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M235: M. Bland Miniature Pheasant Carving

Excellent cock pheasant by M. Bland, Springfield, Illinois, circa 1960s. The bird is in fine, bold original paint with virtually no wear. The intricate feather paint has darkened somewhat with age and displays a nice patina. At some point, a hardly noticeable chip was broken from the tip of the bill and glued back in place. The bird's head is turned about 45 degrees to the left. Its body and head are tilted slightly over and down as if the peasant is looking at something on the ground. The carving is mounted on a section of birch branch. There is a tag on the bottom of the base that reads, "Cock Pheasant, $2.50. M. Bland 62720". The latter number is the zip code for Springfield. The carving measures 9" in length and stands 6.75" high, including the base. SOLD

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D0673: Ruddy Turnstone Decoy

Early and rare ruddy turnstone by an unknown carver from the south shore region of New Jersey, circa 4th quarter, 19th century. The decoy, measuring only 8 1/2" in length, is in old but strong repaint in the spring or breeding plumage. It's bill may be replaced, and there is a repair to a knothole in the breast. A rigmate to this bird is pictured in American Bird Decoys by William Mackey (Plate 26, page 47). If you'll compare the two, you'll see that they are unquestionably by the same hand and painted at the same time. As Mackey's book was published in 1965, the repaint is obviously earlier than that. According to Mackey, ruddy turnstone decoys are "decidedly rare. Almost all those known in collections today originated along the lower half of the Jersey Coast". This decoy was formerly in the important collections of Mackey, Mort Hanson and Lloyd Johnson. Other examples were found in the hallmark collections of Dr. Jim McCleery and John Hillman. Stand not included. SOLD

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D0643: Golden Plover Decoy

Golden plover shorebird decoy by an unknown carver from Nantucket, Massachusetts, circa 4th quarter, 19th century. The solid-bodied bird with large tack eyes is in a mixture of original paint and old working repaint. The old bill is damaged with roughly 1/4" of its tip missing. There is some age splitting to its right side as well as a small chip and some wear to the tip of its tail. The bird has the letter "H" carved in its bottom and has been lightly hit by shot. It measures 9" in length. Stand not included. SOLD

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M228: Lloyd Sterling Miniature Widgeon Drake Decoy

Miniature glass-eyed widgeon drake decoy by Lloyd Sterling, Crisfield, Maryland, circa 1950. The carving has bold original paint showing nice age with light wear on edges of bill. It measures 6.5" in length and is 3.25" high. Among Crisfield's early carvers, Lloyd was second only to his contemporaries, the Ward Brothers. His widgeon, teal and pintails are especially prized. SOLD

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D0560/D0561: Pair of Quebec Goldeneye Decoys

Exceptional pair of solid-bodied goldeneye decoys from Quebec, probably the Valleyfield area, circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. Both have tack eyes, slightly turned heads and detailed wing and tail feather carving. In original paint with nice patinas and light wear, both decoys are structurally strong except for two cracks in the neck of the drake. Slightly oversized, each bird measures 16" in length, 6.5" in width and 7.5" in height. SOLD

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M223: Pair of Miniature W. Ruppel Hooded Merganser Decoys

Pair of miniature hooded mergansers by Walter J. Ruppel and Son, Portland, Oregon. They are each signed by Walt Ruppel and dated 1992. The drake also retains the company label. Each is in mint original condition with glass eyes, detailed bill carving incised wings and fine feather paint. The hen's head is turned about 20 degrees to the left while the drake's is turned about 10 degrees to the right. They are both 6.5" in length, 3" wide and 3" high. SOLD

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D0689: George Huey Red-breasted Merganser Drake Decoy

Slightly oversized (20" L x 6.25" W x 7.5" H) red-breasted merganser drake decoy by George Huey of Friendship, Maine, circa 1915 - 1920. The decoy has an inlet head with carved eyes as well as bill carving. The underside is unusual for Huey, being hollow with a bottom board, probably following the flow of a partially hollowed log he was using. The carving is in mostly original paint with a small amount of in-use overpaint worn almost back to the original surface with moderate flaking and wear and age splits in the back and tail and one side of the bottom board. There is a small chip in the tail and a chip missing at the base of the neck as well as an old in-use repair to a crack in the neck. Huey is recognized as having carved some of New England's finest and most collectible merganser decoys. SOLD

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