M352: Miniature Scaup Drake Decoy, Oscar W. Peterson, Circa 1930

Outstanding 5.75" miniature scaup drake decoy in excellent original paint with very slight craquelure by Oscar W. "Pelee" Peterson of Cadillac, Michigan, circa 1930. A very folky carving with oversized glass eyes, it is is lightly textured and has a thin protective coating of varnish which I believe is original. There are several small paint chips, one on the left side of the neck and another in front of the right speculum. The paint at the tip of the bill is also chipped or worn. Peterson was born in 1887 to Swedish immigrant parents in Grayling, Michigan, before moving to the Cadillac area when he was 8. He spent much of his youth hunting and fishing and later opened a landscaping business with his brother, George. Although it is not exactly known when he started to carve, it is believed that he started around 1900 in order to supplement his income as a landscaper and general handyman. He sold his carvings from his home as well as in many bait shops around the area. Approaching carving as a business, Peterson was extremely prolific, creating more than 15,000 works of art including fish decoys, duck decoys, plaques and other decorative items. Estimates are that around 1,500 to 2,000 of his art form are still in existence. His works are the subject of the book "Michigan's Master Carver: Oscar W. Peterson, 1887-1951" by Ronald J. Fritz and can be found in the American Art Museum of the Smithsonian, the Brooklyn Museum and have also been seen numerous high profile exhibits. SOLD

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M351: Oscar Peterson Miniature Blue-Winged Teal Decoy, Circa 1930

Outstanding 6.5" miniature blue-winged teal hen decoy in near-mint original paint with very slight craquelure by Oscar W. "Pelee" Peterson of Cadillac, Michigan, circa 1930. A very folky carving with oversized glass eyes, it is is lightly textured and has a thin protective coating of varnish which I believe is original. The initials "TWO" are written on the bottom. Peterson was born in 1887 to Swedish immigrant parents in Grayling, Michigan, before moving to the Cadillac area when he was 8. He spent much of his youth hunting and fishing and later opened a landscaping business with his brother, George. Although it is not exactly known when he started to carve, it is believed that he started around 1900 in order to supplement his income as a landscaper and general handyman. He sold his carvings from his home as well as in many bait shops around the area. Approaching carving as a business, Peterson was extremely prolific, creating more than 15,000 works of art including fish decoys, duck decoys, plaques and other decorative items. Estimates are that around 1,500 to 2,000 of his art form are still in existence. His works are the subject of the book "Michigan's Master Carver: Oscar W. Peterson, 1887-1951" by Ronald J. Fritz and can be found in the American Art Museum of the Smithsonian, the Brooklyn Museum and have also been seen numerous high profile exhibits. SOLD

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D0840: Early Maine Red-Breasted Merganser Decoy

Superb red-breasted merganser decoy by an unknown Maine carver, circa 1st quarter, 20th century. A very folky long-necked carving with original steel bill and three-piece laminated body. The stylized original polychrome paint remains bold with light to moderate wear. It measures 19" in length from the tip of the bill to the tip of the tail but only 3 1/2" in width. It stands 9" high at the crest, but the body is only 2 1/2" deep. The neck and head are 3/4" thick with the base of the neck mortised into the first layer of the body. The decoy is "blind", without glass, paint or tack eyes.

Price: $2650.00

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D0843: Leo McIntoshWidgeon Drake Dated 1987

Fine carving of a widgeon drake by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr. (1953 - 2007), Stony Creek Decoys, Woodville, New York. 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. This widgeon is in near-mint vermiculated feather paint with only a small paint fleck off an underedge of the bill and a slight rub to the tip of the tail. Its head, with high quality glass eyes, is turned about 15 degrees to the left. The bird exhibits relief wing and shoulder carving with carved primaries, raised wing tips, a fluted tail, well-developed body musculature and a nicely detailed bill. The carving measures 14" in length and is 5" high at the head. The bottom of the decoy is signed and dated "Stony Creek Decoys by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr. '87". SOLD

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D0839: Ted Grace Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1951

Excellent solid-bodied English wood pigeon decoy by Edward Arthur "Ted" Grace, Walderslade, Kent, United Kingdom, circa 1951. The bird, painted in fall plumage, is in well-blended and detailed original feather paint with a nice patina and and only minor wear. A very well-formed bird, it has screw eyes set in separate shoe eyelets to simulate eye rings, a cast metal bill and relief carved shoulders. Grace purchased Harry Boddy's decoy business in 1951, worked at it full time until 1957 and continued part time until 1977. He made only minor changes that can make the decoys by the two men difficult to distinguish between. This decoy has a longer neck and more narrow head than did those made by Boddy, but the head and neck are not as long and slender as seen in Grace's later decoys. His decoys were also painted with more finesse and a lighter palette than those by Boddy. The last photo shows a pigeon by Boddy on the left, a later decoy by Grace with the more slender and extended neck and head on the right and this decoy in the center. Grace's more fluid and blended brush work as compared to Boddy's can also be seen in this last photo. It measures 14.5" in length and 4" in width. Please see my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers as well as my article on the decoys of Harry Boddy and Ted Grace in the Jan/Feb 2107 issue of Hunting and Fishing Collectibles Magazine for additional information. Stand not included.

Price: $495.00

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M200: Ernie Meuhlmatt White-Breasted Nuthatch, Dated 1973

Original carving of a 4-1/2" long white-breasted nuthatch by Ernie Muehlmatt of Salisbury, Maryland, dated 1973. Exceptionally fine original paint with great musculature, wing and feather carving and ultra-realistic painted eyes with catch-light. The carving is in mint condition. There is a small hole drilled in the bottom of the bird, presumably to mount the carving in a stationary position during detailed carving and painting. It can only be seen from behind the assemblage. Designed to hang on a wall, the carving is inscribed in ink on the back, "Carved by E.F. Muehlmatt, nuthatch, 4/73". Muehlmatt (1927-2016), three-time Ward World Champion (1979, 1981, 1984), began carving in 1967 and was a master of life-size and miniature decorative wood sculpture, becoming one of the most talented, sought-after and popular carvers in wildfowl art. His work can be found in the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury, Maryland, and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin. He is a Member of the Carvers' Hall of Fame and owned and operated Muehlmatt Studios in Salisbury. SOLD

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M349: Large Art Peltier Ruffed Grouse Diorama, Circa Mid-1950s

Excellent diorama featuring two ruffed grouse by Arthur J. "Art" Peltier, Sr. (1907-1982), of West Warwick, Rhode Island, circa mid-20th century. Peltier, who carved from the 1940s to the 1970s, was recognized for his dioramas of hand-carved songbirds, waterfowl and upland game birds in natural settings with water color backgrounds. In near-mint original condition, this piece measures 14.5" x 12.5" x 3.25" with a 10.25" x 8.25" glass size. The carved grouse each measure about 3" in length. This is the first diorama of this size and style that I have seen by Peltier. The large majority of his work consisted of approximately 7" x 7" flatter dioramas with bubble glass. This is also the first example I've seen featuring ruffed grouse.

Price: $395.00

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D0837: John Barnhart Ringneck Drake Decoy, Circa 1900

Rare ringneck drake by John Barnhart (1849-1924), Canton, Illinois, circa late 1800s to early 1900s. Little is known about Barnhart other than that he was affiliated with Barnhart Greenhouse in Canton, and that he was a skilled decoy carver, many of which were made prior to 1900. The bill is carved in Barnhart's easily recognized style. The bottom half of the body is carved with a "V" taper and a flat plane for the weight. This hollow-bodied decoy is in excellent structural condition with a tight body seam. As was characteristic of Barnhart's decoys, the head is made of two pieces of wood laminated together vertically and is likewise tight. This seam can be seen on the crown of the head and on the underside of the bill. The decoy appears to be in original paint with the exception of the black areas which may be in old working overpaint although a black light shows no anomalies in the paint. SOLD

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