D0824: Harry Boddy Feeding Wood Pigeon Decoy

Feeding wood pigeon decoy by Harry Boddy, Walderslade, Kent, United Kingdom, circa 1935. The bird, painted in fall plumage, is in original paint with moderate flaking and wear. It has screw eyes set in separate grommets to simulate eye rings, a cast metal beak and relief carved shoulders. The pigeon is hollowed from below with an inset metal plate marked "Pat. 431190" (Issued to Harry Boddy in 1935) to hold the included metal spike for setting the decoy in the ground. There is a clasp at back of tail to secure the spike. The patent number is also ink-stamped on the underside of the tail. The decoy measures 14.5" in length and 4" in width. While many of the feeding decoys by both Boddy and his protegee, Ted Grace, were made from two pieces of wood with a convex lower second piece of wood nailed to the upper concave piece of the body, this decoy is carved from one piece. As the lower piece had the center cut out to form an elongated "horse collar" hollow, I have to believe this method was found to be easier to accomplish than otherwise hand-hollowing the one-piece decoy from below. Under this assumption, the one-piece decoys such as this one have to be considered the earlier examples. In the last photo, the Boddy decoy is in the middle, flanked by a similar yet bulkier unknown decoy on the left and a more slender example by Grace on the right. See my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers for additional information. Stand included.

Price: $450.00

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D0823: Unknown Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 2Q, 20C

Very nice wood pigeon decoy by an unknown English carver, circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. The decoy exhibits characteristics most often seen in carvings from the Suffolk area such as those by Harry Boddy and Ted Grace; however this 15-inch long decoy is slightly larger and fuller-bodied with a thicker head and neck than those of the aforementioned carvers. As with Boddy's and Grace's birds, the front wing and shoulder outlines are cut in; however, this carver continued the lower wing outline along the sides, culminating in a "V" atop the tail. In original paint, also of the typical Suffolk pattern, the decoy has glass eyes. The bill is also original and appears to be carved integrally with the rest of the decoy rather than being carved or cast separately and inset into the head. In the last photo, this decoy is on the left of somewhat similar examples by Harry Boddy (center)and a Ted Grace (right), listed separately. See my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers for additional information. Stand included. SOLD

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D0822: Wildfowler Green-Winged Teal Drake Decoy, Circa 1950

Handsome decorative solid-bodied green-winged teal drake by Old Saybrook Wildfowler. As detailed in Wildfowler Decoys by Richard Cowan and Dick LaFountain, the machine-carved face/bill separation indicates this decoy was made somewhere between 1942 and 1957. After studying photos of this decoy, LaFountain and Tim Sieger ascertained that the decoy was possibly painted by Harry Ross, circa 1950-1955, as either a production model or for an order for Abercrombie and Fitch in 1955. Measuring only 11 1/2" in length and 4 1/2" in both width and height, the decoy is in expertly-applied thick original oil paint displaying a very pleasing patina. The back of the decoy is machine-carved with raised wingtips. There is a tight, thin crack at the neck seat, a paint chip at the tip of the bill and an extremely fine and nearly imperceptible hair-line crack in the bill. The felt on the bottom conceals any possible stamps or signatures.

Price: $295.00

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D0820: Wildfowler Mallard Hen Decoy, Point Pleasant, NJ, Dated 1973

Near-mint mallard hen by Wildfowler Decoys, Point Pleasant, New Jersey (1961-1977), circa 1973. Charlie Birdsall bought the Wildfowler Decoy Company from Rab Staniford, Quogue, Long Island, New York, in 1961 and moved the company to his home in Point Pleasant (See Chapter Three of Cowan and LaFountain’s Wildfowler Decoys). While Birdsall did a great deal of the carving and painting, he also employed a number of excellent assistants, especially painters. One of the most notable was William (Bill) Keim who painted this decoy, as attested to by his signature under the bill. While this carving is unstamped, ”Norman 1973" is printed on the bottom. Although Keim painted this decoy, it is possible that "Norman" refers in some way to Norman Smith, himself an exceptional painter during Wildfowler's Quogue days. This decoy is in excellent original paint with a small amount of bubbling on its left side from sap seepage. The glass-eyed bird, measuring about 15 1/2” in length, 7” in width, and 5 1/2” in height, has its head turned about 15 degrees to the right.

Price: $195.00

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D0821: Snakey-Head Swimming Blue-Winged Teal Decoy, Circa 2Q, 20C

Very fine solid-bodied, glass-eyed swimming snakey-head blue-winged teal hen by an unknown Midwest carver, circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. The decoy is highly detailed with incised primaries and secondaries as well as raised wingtips and a fluted tail. The outstretched head, mounted on a raised neckseat, is turned roughly 25 degrees to the right and includes a carved nail and mandibles with painted nostrils. The well-executed original paint features extensive detailed feathering and muted tones. The body of the decoy itself measures 11 1/2" in length with the outstretched head adding another 3" in length. The bird is about 4 1/4" wide and 5 1/4" high at the head. The decoy was last found in an estate sale in Cuba, Illinois; however, the owner stated that it was from Minnesota. While the incised feathering and paint style seem to support a Minnesota origin, the shelved tail and raised wingtips have an Illinois River feel. SOLD

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D0819: Lloyd Sterling Swimming Mallard Drake Decoy, Circa 2Q, 20C

Hollow-carved mallard drake decoy in rare swimming posture by Lloyd Sterling, Crisfield, Maryland, circa late 2nd quarter, 20th century. This glass-eyed decoy was carved from a lightweight wood such as balsa or cypress root and hollowed from below. The recess was then covered and sealed by a thin, pear-shaped bottom board (see last photo). The carving was identified as being by Sterling when sold in a Julia & Guyette auction in 1991. There is a small amount of touch up to the white around the bottom board and extending a short distance up the sides, otherwise the decoy is in original paint with light wear. Weighing under a pound, it measures 19" in length, 6.5" in width and is 3.5" high. Among Crisfield's early carvers, Lloyd was second only to his contemporaries, the Ward Brothers.

Price: $195.00

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D0818: Unknown High-Head Blue-Winged Teal Decoy, Circa 2Q, 20C

Unknown blue-winged teal hen in a high-head pose from the Midwest, possibly Wisconsin, circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. The decoy is solid-bodied with glass eyes. It is in original paint except for touchup to a neck repair and has been protected by an old coat of varnish which has faded to a nice matte patina over the areas of the decoy exposed to sunlight. There is a very tight age crack in the right side at the tail and slight paint chipping on the back and at the tail tips. The body has been bored in two spots from below with molten lead added for ballast. SOLD

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D0815: Hollow Myrl Smith Ontario Black Duck Decoy

Near-mint hollow-bodied black duck decoy attributed to Myrl Smith, Dunnville, Ontario, circa 3rd quarter, 20th century. Measuring 16" in length, 6" in width and standing 6.5" in height, the decoy is expertly carved and detailed with rasping, heavily textured comb painting and intricate bill carving. The decoy is fitted with a pendulum-style stabilizing weight on the bottom and bears the maker's mark on both the base of the decoy and as well as on the lead weight. The base is also marked "B1", perhaps signifying that this was the maker's first black duck decoy. An old tag on this decoy when I purchased it attributed the decoy to a Harry Richardson, circa 1950s to 1960s; however, the maker's marks (DMS?) on both the decoy and the weight make it very improbable that Richardson made this decoy. SOLD

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