D0838: Unknown English Wood Pigeon Decoy Circa 2Q, 20C

Sleek wood pigeon decoy made of cast and embossed aluminum alloy by an unknown maker from the United Kingdom, circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. The half-bodied shell, open from below, measures 14-3/8" in length and 4" in width. Although the shell measures less than 1/8" in thickness and weighs less than one pound, it is nonetheless rigid and very durable. The decoy is heavily embossed, including raised primaries, a fluted tail and back, scapular and rump feathers. It is in original paint, including painted eyes, showing moderate wear. A flange with threaded receptacle is riveted to the body from below to accept a similarly threaded post for mounting. Although not as elaborate as the aluminum "TRU-ISS" decoys of Trulock and Harriss, the light weight, durability and life-like silhouette of these decoys would have made them popular with gunners. I have seen a modest number of these decoys which influenced the development of the fiber and synthetic shell decoys by Max Baker and others that would eventually be the demise of these decoys and their wooden predecessors. Most likely made in an industrial area such as London or Suffolk by an established metalworking enterprise, these decoys form an important link in the developmental progression of the wood pigeon decoy. Please ee my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their makers for additional information. Stand included. SOLD

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D0826: Capt. James Stanley Green-Winged Teal Decoy, Circa 1900

Very rare hollow-carved green-winged teal by Capt. James Stanley (1855-1927), Cape Vincent, NY, circa 1910. The decoy is in original paint with an excellent and accurate professional bill repair . There is a slight separation at the body seam. Stanley was a well known artist, photographer and taxidermist and worked as a guide on the St. Lawrence River where he used his limited production of decoys. This diminutive decoy is 12" long, 5" wide and stands 4-1/2" high at the head.

Price: $1650.00

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D0834: Early New Jersey Black-Bellied Plover Decoy

Early black-bellied plover with slightly exaggerated "beetle head" and painted eyes from a small hunting rig used in Absecon, New Jersey, circa late 4Q, 19C. The decoy is in dry original paint; however, there may be remnants of in-use touch-up to the black of the breast. The darker collar (speckling) around the neck is original as is the splined bill which has been cleanly broken off and reattached. The decoy measures 10.5" in length and is 2" thick. Another plover by this same maker, identified only as being from Atlantic City, NJ, and from the collection of Dr. Jack Conover, is pictured in plate 421 on page 176 of New Jersey Decoys by Henry Fleckenstiein. That decoy, along with two other plovers by the same carver, sold for $3950.00 plus a 15% buyers premium in the Guyette & Schmidt November 2006 auction (Lot 229. They were described as being by an unknown maker out of the rig of Earl Leeds of Pleasantville, NJ. A ruddy turnstone by the same unknown carver sold for $4000.00 plus a 15% buyers premium in the Guyette & Deeter July 2018 auction (Lot 246). Stand included.

Price: $1250.00

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D0830: Scarce Early Flying Wood Pigeon Decoy

Scarce flying English wood pigeon decoy by an unknown English carver, circa 1920s - 1930s. Found in Carmarthen, Wales, UK, it is possibly from that area. The decoy is in very good and well-patinated original polychrome paint with painted eyes. The head, with original bill, is mortised into the body as is the well-thought-out separate wing assembly which can be removed to allow safe transit and storage and to facilitate any necessary repairs or replacements. The decoy measures 15.5" in length and has a wingspan of 24". Known as "wing-flappers", these decoys were typically mounted on what was called a "bouncer" or "floater" pole. Relatively rare, they decoys were used to introduce an element of movement to an otherwise static decoy spread. In the case of this decoy, the wings are spring-loaded to move up and down in a breeze. Others in this style were rigged with a long cord to the hide (blind) to operate strings attached to the wings which flapped them up and down. One of a group of three by the same carver, this is the only flapper. Variations in size, paint, structure and finesse lead me to believe that this rig of decoys was carved by a hunter for his personal use rather than by a commercial maker. The last photo shows this decoy along with the other two from the same rig, available separately. Stand not included. SOLD

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D0827: Trio of Unknown Wood Pigeon Decoys, Circa Late 2nd Q - Early 3rd Q, 20th C.

A striking rig of decoys by an unknown carver, circa late 2nd to early 3rd quarter of the 20th century. They were found in and are possibly from Suffolk, UK. Each is carved in a different pose, from the rather quizzical decoy on the left to the standard ground decoy in the center to the running decoy on the right. Not only are the poses different, the sizes vary as well, making it most likely that each was made without a master pattern. These differences lead me to the conclusion that the rig was made by a hunter for his own use rather than by a commercial maker that repeatedly carved and painted an inventory for sale. As such, they are folk art at its finest, a synergistic effort of great appeal. The bills were crafted from nylon rather than wood or cast metal. The original paint patterns, while not as practiced as you might find on a commercial product, are nonetheless effective and display a most pleasing patina. The placement of the glass eyes, somewhat out of kilter, only adds to the charm of this group. In the first photo, from left to right, the quizzical decoy (photos 3-7) decoy measures 14" in length and has a replaced nylon bill but is otherwise in original condition. The standard pose ground decoy (photos 8-11) is in completely original condition with paint worn off most of the bill. The final decoy, the runner (photos 12-15), has a replaced nylon bill but is otherwise in original condition. These decoys are not available separately. The stand is included. SOLD

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D0832: Unknown Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1920s - 1930s

Nice wood pigeon decoy by an unknown English carver, circa 1920s - 1930s. Found in Carmarthen, Wales, UK, it is possibly from that area. The decoy is in very good original condition with painted eyes and carved raised wingtips. This decoy differs from its two rigmates in that the separately carved head is mounted directly on the body rather than mortised in. There is a tight age split running about halfway down the back from the top of the breast and alongside the head with some flaking of neck filler in that area. See next-to-last photo. The stake hole underneath the decoy is fitted with a spring to allow the decoy to move in a breeze. Variations in size, paint, structure and finesse between the three decoys found in this rig lead me to believe that they carved by a hunter for his personal use rather than by a commercial maker. The last photo shows this decoy along with the other two from the same rig, available separately. Stand not included. SOLD

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D0831: Unknown Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1920s - 1930s

Nice full-boded English wood pigeon decoy by an unknown carver, circa 1920s - 1930s. Found in Carmarthen, Wales, UK, it is possibly from that area. The decoy is in very good original condition with painted eyes, carved raised wingtips and an appealing patina to its polychrome paint. As with its flying rigmate, the head of the 15" long decoy is mortised into the body. The original bill is slightly loose but undamaged. Variations in size, paint, structure and finesse between the three decoys found in this rig 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 the other two from the same rig, available separately. Stand not included. SOLD

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D0825: TRU-ISS Cast Metal Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1 Q, 20 C

Scarce hollow English wood pigeon decoy made for the gunsmith firm of H. Trulock & Harriss, London, U.K., circa 1909-1911. Made from a cast and chased aluminum alloy, it was patterned after wooden examples made for the famous gunmaker around the turn of the 20th century. The wooden versions are felt by many collectors to be the best examples of English wood pigeon extant. This decoy,in weathered original paint, was made in three pieces; an upper body, a lower body and a separate head. 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 decoy varies from the later examples in that the head of this one is stationary rather than spring mounted so that it would bobble. The metal post for setting the decoy in the ground is missing. The pigeon measures 13 1/2" in length, 5" across at the shoulders and roughly 4" in depth. Stand not included. SOLD

Price: $595.00

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