Beautiful full-size Canada goose decoy in a sleeping or preening pose by Fredrick C. "Rick" Brown, Brick Township, NJ. It is hand-carved in the traditional Delaware River style from air-dried Jersey white cedar with superb mint paint, detailed bill carving, raised primaries, fluted tail, hollow body, high quality glass eyes, lead pad weight and leather thong. The decoy is signed and dated 2015. It measures approximately 20.5" in length, 8" in width, 9" in height and and bears Rick's personal copper ID tag. Rick was the founder and owner of Barnegat Bay Decoys which he started on the old Wildfowler Decoy Company site in the 70s. Though the company closed it's doors more than two decades ago, Rick continues to hand carve the competition quality decoys that have earned him hundreds of ribbons for more than a quarter of a century. His decoys are highly collectible and very much sought after. SOLD
Decorative solitary sandpiper decoy carving by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr. (1953 - 2007), Stony Creek Decoys, Woodville, New York, dated 1986. 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. This handsome solid-bodied shorebird measures about over 6" from bill to tail. Other than touch up to an imperceptible professional bill repair by Russ Allen, it is in near-mint and highly detailed feather paint with glass eyes. The bird has incised and slightly raised primaries with deeply carved shoulders and wing edges. The included base reads, "Solitary Sandpiper, Stony Creek Decoys by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr., '86". Stand included.
In the earliest documentation of the use of wood pigeon decoys that I have found, renowned London taxidermist Rowland Ward wrote in “The Sportsman’s Handbook” in 1880, “The employment of dummies and decoys for birds, and especially for shore-birds, is interesting and useful. Probably in all parts of the world ingenuity can adapt this resource in degree. As a rule gregarious birds are those most subject to the fascination, for such it is. To give examples in our own country, wood-pigeons can be attracted thus: Any carpenter can make the shape of a wood-pigeon in rough; no legs need be shaped, but a stick should project from the lower part of the breast, so that the dummy can be fixed on the ground, or placed in a tree, as may be required; this figure must be painted in colour to represent the pigeon, and the paint must be ‘flatted’, that is, not glossy. It is astonishing how the wild birds will come down to their haunts when they see this dummy there to assure them”. Heeding his own advice, Ward began offering what were perhaps the first commercially-produced wood pigeon decoys through his London company, R. Ward and Co., somewhere in the last quarter of the 19th century. I’ve corresponded with several authorities on Roland Ward and his work, and there is no evidence that these decoys were made by either Ward or a member of his staff. Instead, they were probably made for Ward on a seasonal or “as needed” basis by an unknown carver or carvers from the London area where Ward had his shop. It has been suggested that the same carvers that made gun stocks for the company may also have made the decoys, a most plausible theory in my opinion. As with this example, the Ward decoys exhibited heavily carved raised and extended wings, a fanned tail, deeply-carved eyes and overall carved feather detail. The bills were carved and inset. In original paint with touch up to professional tail and bill repairs, this example with its head turned approximately 30 degrees to the right and with scalloped breast and wings, is one of the best Ward decoys I've seen. As seen in the last photo, there is some damage to the two wingtips. A big bird, it measures 16" in length and is 5" wide across the shoulders. See my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers for additional information.
Outstanding hollow-bodied mallard pair with glass eyes and detailed bill carving by Walter J. Lowry, Sr., of La Crosse, Wisconsin, circa 1930s. Lowry was a well known and respected banker in La Crosse and across the Midwest. Along with Michael Suhrada of Prairie du Chien, he was one of the most prolific carvers of the Mississippi River Basin, carving over 200 of Wisconsin's finest decoys from the 1920s through the 1940s. This pair, in near-mint original paint showing some yellowing from age, possesses incredibly intricate paint patterns, especially on the hen. The painting on Lowry’s mallard hens is among the best in the country. They are structurally excellent with no splitting , cracking or seam separation. Each decoy measures 16" in length, stands 6" high at the head and is 5-1/2" wide. SOLD
Very nice solid-bodied pintail drake by an unknown Michigan carver, circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. Carved with a flat bottom and straight sides, the decoy has a well formed and distinctive head with glass eyes and a nicely tapered tail. The neck seat is partially routed into the body so that the back of the neck is inset 1/2" - 3/4" while the front of the neck is flush with the top of the body. The decoy is in original paint and structurally sound except for some flaking of the neck filler. The head remains firmly attached, however. There is part of a sticker on the bottom of the decoy that I assume identified a possible carver. The first three letters of the name are "Rue". It looks like the fourth letter might have been a "P" or a "T". Based on the size of the tag that remains, I'm guessing the rest of the name had 3 to 5 more letters. I haven't been able to find any published information on a carver whose last name starts "Rue", so it could be a misspelling of a name such as "Rupert" or "Reuters". The decoy measures 17-1/2" in length, 6-1/2" in width and is 7-1/2" tall. SOLD
Decorative spotted sandpiper by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr. (1953 - 2007), Stony Creek Decoys, Woodville, New York, dated 1986. 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 carving is in excellent original feather paint with very slight wear on the wing tips and some extremely tiny flecks of primer showing through on some high points of the body. It has incised and raised primaries and deeply carved shoulders and wing edges. The sandpiper measures 7" in length. The included base reads, "Leo McIntosh, '86". SOLD
Decorative red knot by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr. (1953 - 2007), Stony Creek Decoys, Woodville, New York, dated 1987. 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 shorebird is carved in a sleeping pose that you don't often see from Leo. It measures just over 5-1/2" from breast to tail and is in near-mint feather paint. It has "sleepy eyes" and incised and slightly raised primaries with deeply carved shoulders and wing edges. The included base reads, "Stony Creek Decoy Co., carvings by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr., Woodville, N.Y., '87". Stand included. SOLD
Excellent pair of miniature bobwhite quail by George Wilmer Reinbold (1885-1946), Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, circa 1940. Both the carvings and the original paint are expertly detailed and beautifully accomplished with the latter exhibiting a nice patina. Both quail have detailed wing carving including raised wing tips. The male is unusual in that it has an open beak as if calling. The burl upon which the male is mounted is signed "W. Reinbold". Each quail measures just over 2" bill to tail. The beveled walnut base is 4" in diameter, 1/4" thick and covered with red felt on the underside. Wilmer’s work was represented in the most popular outdoor outfitters, wildlife-themed gift shops and galleries of the day, notably Richard Stockton’s Shop in Bryn Mawr, PA, Caldwell's in Philadelphia and Crossroads of Sport and Abercrombie & Fitch in New York City. His work is highly regarded and much sought after today. Wilmer was the father of noted carver Bill Reinbold of Chestertown, Maryland.