D0873: Francis Rolph Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa Early 1Q, 20C

Excellent English wood pigeon decoy attributed to Francis Rolph of Lakenheath, Suffolk, United Kingdom, circa 1900 - 1910. He was the area's largest dealer in all manner of birds and game. After inquiries from customers, he began making decoys as early as 1880, concentrating on pigeon decoys. The body is somewhat rectangular in cross section, reflecting the exclusive use of hand tools in the making of his decoys. Perhaps the nicest example I've seen by this carver, it is lightly used with a pleasing patina. A stylish carving with a separately carved head and glass eyes, it measures 12.75" in length, 3" in width and is almost 4" in depth at the breast. The decoy is somewhat shorter in length than most of Rolph's birds and has a smoothly carved body, lacking the carved wing edges and shoulders normally found on his work, yet it has a noticeably fuller breast. Except for touch-up to and around the bill, which is an excellent and accurate professional replacement, the decoy is in strong original paint depicting the species' fall plumage. Francis was the father of James Rolph, himself a decoy maker, and father-in-law of William Jaggard, another carver, who joined the family business in the early 1930s. James Rolph's decoys are quite similar to those of his father except that the heads are carved as part of the body rather than separately. Stand included. SOLD

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D0871: George Harvey Jersey Coast Scaup Drake Decoy, Circa 1900

Rare early (circa 1900) Jersey Coast hollow-bodied glass-eyed scaup drake in a mixture of original paint, working overpaint and a protective clear coat by George Harvey of Rumson, New Jersey. "Geo. Harvey, Rumson, N.J., 1900" is inscribed on the bottom in black ink along with a museum's inventory number and rubber stamp (a large capital "C", encircling the "M" of "Museum" and an illegible word). The decoy measures 14" in length and 6" in height, There is a 4" x 2" oblong lead pad weight nailed to the bottom. The bill has a tight crack but is stable. SOLD

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M359: Leo McIntosh Green-Winged Teal Hen, Circa 1990

Very nice glass-eyed green-winged teal hen by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr. (1953-2007), Stony Creek Decoys, Woodville, New York, circa 1990. Recognized as one of the best contemporary decoy carvers before his untimely death, Leo apprenticed with Ken Harris for five years before founding Stony Creek Decoys. The decoy is in mint condition other than a tight crack in the neck. With its head turned about 10 degrees to the right, it is in detailed feather paint. Measuring 11 1/2” in length and standing 5 1/4” high at the head, “L. H. McIntosh, Maker, Woodville, N. Y.” is carved in the bottom in a pattern similar to Crowell’s oval brand. SOLD

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M358: Ernie Muehlmatt Screech Owl Signed and Dated 1972

Beautiful 6 1/2” high screech owl by Ernie Muehlmatt , Salisbury, Maryland, that is mounted on a branch that looks like it came out of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It’s in mint condition other than some tiny white flecks on the back. The owl has carved and raised wings tips and primaries as well as carved ears and beak. Measuring 17” by 9” including the branch it is mounted on and painted in Ernie’s detailed feather finish, it is identified as a screech owl, signed and dated 4/72 on the bottom. 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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M355: Miniature Frank Townsend Cock Pheasant, Circa 1950s

Miniature cock pheasant by Frank E. Townsend, Bloomfield, New Jersey, circa early 3rd quarter of the 20th century. It measures just over 8” in length from tip of bill to tip of tail and is 5” tall, not including the base. Overall dimensions including the base are 11” in length and 6 1/4” in height. The pheasant is in mint original condition exhibiting the vibrant colors Frank is known for. “Ringneck pheasant, carved & painted by Frank Townsend” is printed on the base. SOLD

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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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D0855: Early Yorkshire Wood Pigeon Decoy, Unknown Carver

Sleek 12-1/2" long wood pigeon decoy by an unknown carver, circa 1880 - 1890. Decoys by this maker are among the earliest from the Yorkshire area. 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. This bird is in original paint except for touch up to a professional bill repair and around the eyes which have been replaced. The replacements are accurately sized and colored. There is moderate weathering and wear to the paint, particularly on the left side and back of the decoy. Decoys from the Yorkshire area are among the best to be found. 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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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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