D0860: Early TRU-ISS Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1909-1911

Rare hollow English wood pigeon decoy made for the gunsmith firm of H. Trulock & Harriss, London, U.K. Made from a cast and chased aluminum alloy, it was patterned after wooden examples made for the famous gunmaker around circa 1909-1911. The wooden versions are felt by many collectors to be the best examples of English wood pigeon extant. This decoy retains its original glass eyes and is in excellent original paint, retaining most of the red breast and bill paint, dark gray back and wings, black wingtips and tail bar and typical white markings at the wing edges and neck. The decoy was made in three pieces; an upper body, a lower body and a spring-mounted head. An integral wire stake is attached, designed, along with the"bobble-head", to allow motion to a set of birds. 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 early decoy includes several design elements missing in later examples, including the means of attaching the head spring and wire stake to the body as well as an alignment stud for the body halves, that I can only assume were changed to reduce costs in later decoys. Interestingly, the number "6" is written in pencil inside each body half, presumably meaning that certain adjustments were made to insure a proper fit and that those two pieces should remain mated rather than mixed with those of other examples. The pigeon measures 13 1/2" in length, 5" across at the shoulders and roughly 4" in depth, exclusive of the head. The original 2-piece box, the only one I’ve ever seen, is in fair to good condition. it has a tear across the top but remains stable. SOLD

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D0854: Unknown Yorkshire Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa Late 1800s

Among the earliest of the decoys from the Yorkshire area, this bird was made by an unknown maker, circa 1880 - 1890. Fitted with the original glass eyes and measuring 12-1/2" in length, it is smooth bodied with a pronounced breast, very much like the earliest of Robert Lange’s decoys. The tail, neck and head are more slender, almost delicate, than most. The paint and bill are original, although there is a tiny chip to the very tip of the bill. The breast is nicely mottled as typically seen in the Yorkshire birds and the overall paint is well patinated. Overall an exceptional decoy from a region noted for high quality. 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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D0856: Unknown Wood Pigeon Decoy, London, UK, Circa 1920 - 1930

Nicely formed wood pigeon decoy in original paint by an unknown carver, circa 1920 - 1930. Although the paint pattern is rather straight forward, it is nonetheless typical and quite effective with the white nape and wing patches and the red breast signifying the breeding plumage. The 13-1/2" full-bodied decoy has glass eyes, carved wing outlines and gouge-carved feathering, particularly in the tail area. More importantly, the wingtips are raised and heavily carved and the tail is fluted in a manner similar to that of decoys by R. Ward Company, Trulock & Harris and the Geo. G. Bussey Co., Ltd., all makers from the London area, indicators that this decoy is likely from that area as well. Although this is the only example I am aware of by this maker, the overall form and quality point to this being a commercially produced example, most likely by a cottage industry. 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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D0850: William Jaggard Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1940s

Excellent wood pigeon decoy by William Jaggard of Elveden, Suffolk, United Kingdom, circa 1940s. With only light in-use wear, this stylish pigeon is in original paint and has carved shoulders and wings, a cast metal bill and glass eyes. Painted in the species' fall plumage, the full-bodied carving measures just under 14.5" in length, 4.5" in width and 3.5" in depth at the breast. Continuing the business of his father-in-law and mentor, James Rolph, Jaggard carved from the 1930s to the mid-1950s. Similar in time frame to North American waterfowl and shorebird decoys, wood pigeon decoys have been used in the United Kingdom since the latter half of the 1800s with examples ranging from the deeply carved examples sold by Trulock and Harriss and R. Ward Co. to the more stylized examples of Jaggard, Harry Boddy and Ted Grace. Judging from the number of examples found today, the latter group, along with the Rolph family, were England's most prolific makers. 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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M354: Joe Klein Pheasant Hen, Circa 1950s

Excellent hen ring-necked pheasant carved in half-scale by Leo J. "Joe" Klein, Wilcox, PA, circa 1950s. Klein was known for his elaborately carved and painted ducks, turkeys, woodcocks and other upland game birds. This carved pheasant has relief-carved wings, feet and eyes. The original feather paint is intricately detailed and boldly applied. The bird measures almost 12" in length, stands 6.25" high (exclusive of the base) and is 3" wide. The carving is in mint condition other than for a very small paint chips to the tip of the bill and the back edge of the tail A sticker with Klein's name and address remains on the bottom of the base. SOLD

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D0849: Charles Rayle Pintail Hen, Aberdeen, Washinton, Circa 1910

Rare hollow glass-eyed pintail hen by by Charles Rayle, Aberdeen, Washington, circa 1910. According to Wildfowl Decoys Of The Pacific Coast by Miller and Hanson, pgs. 64-65 & 67, Rayle made the finest decoys in the Gray's Harbor region of Washington's southwest coast. His decoys, as typical for the area, were hollow, imposing in size (this one is 22" long) and made of red cedar. Although there is disagreement among some local collectors and residents as to whether or not Rayle actually carved these decoys, there is little dispute that they were the finest the area had to offer. Structurally excellent, this decoy is in near-mint well-blended original paint with Rayle's unusual but distinctive "lumpy" bill style. Rayle is believed to have carved roughly 100 mallards, pintails, canvasbacks and brant for use at Grays Harbor's South Bay and Laidlaw Island Clubs. The decoy has an old and very light protective coat of shellac or varnish. The original paint is a little dark for this species but appears lighter and has a great amount of feather detail when seen in daylight. There is a pintail hen by by Charles Pratsch pictured on page 67 of the book referenced above with very similar coloration and paint pattern. SOLD

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D0848: Important Wood Pigeon Decoy By Mr. Wright, Circa late 1800s

Excellent and historically important early wood pigeon decoy in original condition by Mr. Wright (first name unknown)from the Yorkshire area, circa late 1800s. The decoys from this region encompass some of the earliest and finest ever produced in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, very little is known about the Yorkshire decoys and carvers. Until this decoy came to light, the only names associated with this area were those of Robert Lange and Robert Sainz. This decoy, however, had the name "Wright" inscribed into the paint under the tail while the paint was still wet, a very strong indication that Mr. Wright was the maker and I shall, in the future, refer to him as such. A solid-bodied decoy with glass eyes, a pronounced breast, a carved mandible and a thickened tail, it measures 12 3/4" in length. I've seen other examples by Wright that had applied wings with raised wingtips, incised feather patterns and fluted tails that I believe are somewhat later than this example. SOLD

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D0845/D0846: Rare Pair of Old Saybrook Wildfowler Green-Winged Teal Decoys, Circa 1939

Highly collectible pair of solid cedar green-winged teal by Old Saybrook Wildfowler of Old Saybrook, CT. As detailed in Wildfowler Decoys by Richard Cowan and Dick LaFountain, the fine-line bill separation and raised neckseats indicate these decoys were made somewhere between 1939 and 1941. Each measuring only 12 1/2" in length, 5" in width and 4 1/2" in height, the decoys are in original paint other than for touchup to two age splits on the drake that have been professionally filled. The first runs the length of the back while the much smaller second crack is to the left of the head. There are similarly located but tighter splits on the hen that have not been filled or touched up. As seen in the last photo, the very tip of the bill of the hen has been slightly blunted. The heads of both are attached to the bodies by means of 1/2" dowels extending through the crowns of the heads to the bases of the decoys. Both birds have an old thin coating of clear sealer such as shellac. Missing the factory keels, the decoys are unstamped. According to knowledgeable Wildfowler collectors, green-winged teal decoys by Wildfowler of this vintage and species are extremely rare with no photos of known examples published. A matched pair is exceptionally desirable. SOLD

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