D0890: Lloyd Johnson Working Pintail Hen Decoy, Bay Head, NJ

Exceptional glass-eyed hollow-carved working pintail hen, circa 1950s, by Lloyd Johnson (1910-1965), Bay Head, New Jersey. Johnson is recognized as a master decoy maker, collector and historian. The decoy is in nicely patinated original paint with scratch feather paint on the sides, breast and head and detailed feather paint on the back. It exhibits carved primaries and tail feathers and overall body musculature. The head is turned approximately ten degrees to the right with expertly detailed bill carving. The decoy measures 14" from the tip of the tail to the tip of the bill, is about 5.5" wide and stands 7" high at the head. It shows only very light wear and has a tight neck crack as well as a tight crack across the front of the breast. These can be best seen in the last four photos. The tag on the bottom is from Richard Bourne's October 1981 auction (Lot 218) of the collection of John Dilworth of Salem, New Jersey. SOLD

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D0877: Bert Graves Mallard Hen Decoy, Circa 2Q, 20C

Hollow-bodied, glass-eyed mallard hen decoy by G. Bert Graves (1880-1956), Peoria, Illinois, circa 2nd Q, 20th C. Graves was named by William F. Mackey, Jr., a foremost decoy historian, as one of the first four of Midwestern (Illinois River) hand decoy makers, along with Charles Walker, Robert Elliston and Charles Perdew. A professional carpenter and boat builder, he went into the production of quality decoys in the mid-1920s, if not sooner, and continued their production until 1944 when he left Peoria for the West Coast. The decoy is in original paint with several small area of flaking and touchup to a small professional tail chip repair. Measuring approximately 17" long, 7" tall, and 6" wide, it is missing the Graves keel weight. SOLD

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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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D0869: Rare Split-Tail John Dilley Golden Plover, Circa 4Q, 19C

Outstanding glass-eyed golden plover by John Dilley, Quogue, Long Island, New York, circa 4th quarter 19th century. A rare split-tailed model in winter plumage by this maker who is universally acclaimed as one of the top shorebird makers of all time. The decoy has slight wear and has been lightly hit by shot but is in original condition with strong detailed feather paint. It measures 10.5" from tip of tail to tip of bill. Signed "Dilley" on the underside of the tail. "Capt. Jess Birdsall, Barnegat, 1890, Golden Plover" is inscribed in black ink on the bottom. This was the identification first made of these decoys in the early 1940s as documented by Mackey on page 124 of American Bird Decoys.

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D0870: Harris Family Golden Plover Decoy, Nantucket

Excellent golden plover in breeding plumage by a member of the Harris family, Nantucket, MA, circa 4th quarter, 19th century. The 9.5" decoy is in strong original paint and retains the original conical bill and tack eyes. As was typical of these decoys, the head and neck were carved as a piece separate from the body. The carving is identified on the bottom in ink as a "Golden plover, Nantucket, Mass, 1880". There is a thin coat of varnish protecting the finish.

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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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