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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D0817: Fine Wood Pigeon Decoy, Yorkshire, UK. Circa Late 1800s

Finely crafted and finished early solid-bodied wood pigeon decoy with applied wings, raised wing tips and a full, protruding breast, it shares many characteristics with the carvings attributed to Robert Lange and Robert Sainz (See http://www.woodpigeondecoys.com), both from Yorkshire, characteristics that seem to be common to that area. However, there are just enough differences to make me believe that it was made in the late 1800s to early 1900s by a third carver from that area. The incised primaries on the wings and form of the flared and fluted tail as opposed to the tapered tails most often seen in decoys from this area are unique, while the shapes of the head, bill and full body are not. The decoy, measuring 12.5" in length, is in excellent original paint with very minor wear and a pleasing patina. The bill is a well done professional replacement. In the last photo this decoy is on the right of its rigmate, D0816, listed separately. See my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers for additional information. SOLD

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D0816: Early Wood Pigeon Decoy, Yorkshire, UK. Circa Late 1800s

An excellent early solid-bodied decoy with applied wings, raised wing tips and a full, protruding breast, it shares many characteristics with the carvings attributed to Robert Lange and Robert Sainz (See http://www.woodpigeondecoys.com), both from Yorkshire, characteristics that seem to be common to that area. However, there are just enough differences to make me believe that it was made in the late 1800s to early 1900s by a third carver from that area. The incised primaries on the wings and form of the flared and fluted tail as opposed to the tapered tails most often seen in decoys from this area are unique, while the shapes of the head, bill and full body are not. The decoy, measuring 13" in length, is in original paint with average wear and a professionally replaced bill, wing tip repair and tail repair. In the last photo this decoy is on the left of its rigmate, D0817, listed separately. See my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers for additional information. SOLD

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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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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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D0810: Francis Rolph Wood Pigeon Decoy, Early 1900s

Excellent wood pigeon decoy attributed to Francis Rolph of Lakenheath, Suffolk, United Kingdom, circa 1900-1910. The decoy is in original paint with light wear. It is unusual in that the head and body are carved in separate pieces, similar to many North American decoys, but a characteristic I've seen in no other English wood pigeons. It has carved shoulders and wings, the original bill, glass eyes and a pleasing patina. Painted in the specie's fall plumage, the full-bodied bird measures about 14.5" in length, 4" in width and 3.5" in depth at the breast. Francis was the father of James Rolph who continued carving decoys into the 1940s using the same basic pattern but with a one-piece body and head. One of Francis's decoys, unidentified as to maker, can be found in Joel Barber's book written in 1935 (Plate 54). English wood pigeons have garnered the well-deserved attention of American collectors. Similar in time frame to North American waterfowl and shorebird decoys, they have been used in the United Kingdom since the latter part 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 the Rolphs, Jaggard, Boddy and Robert Lange. See my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers for additional information. SOLD

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