Very rare hollow English wood pigeon decoy made for the gunsmith firm of H. Trulock & Harriss, London, U.K., circa 1912. Made from a cast and chased aluminum alloy, it was patterned after wooden examples made for the famous gunmaker around the turn of the 20th century. The wooden versions are felt by many collectors to be the best examples of English wood pigeon extant. This decoy is in excellent original paint, portraying the bird's breeding plumage. It was made in three pieces; an upper body, a lower body and a spring-mounted head. The interiors of the upper and lower body halves of this decoy are each marked in pencil with Roman numeral ones (I), presumably to match up the proper halves so the painted plumage patterns would match. It is possible that the number one indicates this particular example was in fact the first decoy bird made in this pattern by the company. An integral wire stake is attached, designed along with the "bobble-head"to add 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 particular decoy appears to be an early example of what was called the Tru-Iss decoy. It has impressed metal eyes and the wording "PATENT APPLIED". Later Tru-Iss examples had glass eyes, were marked "HARRISS'S PATENT No. 21550". The later version also showed an address of "PICKERING PLACE, ST. JAMES STREET, LONDON". While i cannot make out the address on this earlier example, it was not Pickering Place. The paint on later examples was an overall charcoal grey with a light rose tone to the breast. This pigeon measures 13 1/2" in length, 5" across at the shoulders and roughly 4" in depth, exclusive of the head. SOLD
Feeding wood pigeon decoy by Harry Earnest Boddy, Chatham, Kent, United Kingdom, circa 1935. The bird, painted in fall plumage, is in worn original paint with a very fine patina. It has screw eyes set in separate grommets to simulate eye rings, a cast metal beak and relief carved shoulders. It has been lightly hit with shot. The pigeon is hollowed from below with an inset metal plate marked "Pat. 431190" (Issued to Boddy in 1935) to hold a spike (missing} for setting the decoy in the ground. There is a clasp at back of tail to secure the folded spike. According to the patent documents, "...under the action of wind, it (the designed means of attachment) simulates the action of a feeding bird". The hollowed portion of the body in these decoys is made from a second piece of wood, nailed to the of the upper body. This second piece is curved on top to fit a corresponding concave curve in the upper piece. The decoy measures 14" in length and 4" in width. The name of W. R. Grace of Kent also comes up in connection with these wood pigeons. One scenario has Kent purchasing Boddy's business in the 1940s, continuing it with only one change; the decoy necks and heads became narrower and more tapered (See last photo). This decoy is of the older and larger style pictured on the right of the photo. Another possibility is that Grace was involved much earlier, perhaps even from the start, either as a partner or as the principal with Boddy being only the patentee of the mounting system. Stand not included. SOLD
Very nice matched rigmate pair of bluebills by John Roth (1885-1948), Oshkosh, Wisconsin, circa 1920s. Both decoys have high "cheeky" heads with glass eyes, painted nostrils, deeply carved mandibles and a bold, stylized paint pattern. Both are in original paint with stippled feathering on the backs. The drake has a few shot scars and an age split running down the back from the breast while the hen has an age split on the right side. They are otherwise in excellent structural condition with the heads firmly seated. Neither decoy has any repairs. Roth is recognized as one of Wisconsin's better early carvers and is featured in Ron Koch's book, "Decoys of the Winnebago Lakes".
Very nice hollow-bodied Canada goose with painted tack eyes and inlet lead weight by Mark Kears, Linwood, NJ, circa 1920s. The decoy is in excellent dry original paint showing minor wear, a nice patina and light crazing. It is protected by an old, possibly original, coat of varnish. Other than a slight separation at the body seam, the bird is in excellent structural condition with no cracks or repairs. It measures 24" in length, 8" in width and stands 11-1/2" high at the head. He was a mentor and neighbor of Gene Hendrickson, but Kear's decoys are earlier and much more difficult to find in original paint. SOLD
Fine carving of a green-winged teal drake by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr. (1953 - 2007), Stony Creek Decoys, Woodville, New York, circa 1986. Recognized as one of the best contemporary carvers before his untimely death, Leo apprenticed with Ken Harris for five years before founding Stony Creek Decoys. This teal is in near-mint vermiculated feather paint with only two slight rubs on the edges of the bill. Its head, with high quality glass eyes, is turned about 15 degrees to the right and is finely feather textured. The bird exhibits relief wing and shoulder carving with raised wing tips, a fluted tail with carved feathers, well-developed body musculature and a well detailed bill. The carving measures 11" in length and is 4 1/2" high. It is signed "Leo H. McIntosh" on the bottom. It is sure to please the advanced collector! SOLD
Very nice bufflehead drake by an unidentified Canadian carver, circa 1970's. The decoy is solid-bodied with glass eyes and an overall rasped finish. The initials "DS" are encircled on the bottom of the carving. The triangular-shaped wing demarcation, carved side-pockets and rasped finish point toward a Ken Anger influence and a possible Dunnville, Ontario, origin. The diminutive carving is in original condition and finely detailed with fluted tail, incised bill, carved nail and nostrils and a slightly snuggled head with fat cheeks . There is some very slight "puppy chew" on the tip of the bill that is seen mainly on its underside and some very light flaking to the paint where the head and body meet. The decoy is 11" long, 5.75" wide and 5" high.
Solid-bodied English wood pigeon decoy with screw eyes set in separate grommets to simulate eye rings by Harry Earnest Boddy of St. Kilda, Chatham, Kent, United Kingdom, circa 1930s. A full-bodied decoy with relief-carved wings showing moderate flaking and wear, the pigeon is in original paint except for the white areas which have old in-use touch up and the bill which appears to be a well-crafted replacement. I have seen some pigeon decoys by Boddy that were half-bodied with cast metal bills and hollowed from below with an inset metal plate and spike marked "Pat. 431190" (Issued to Boddy in 1934) for setting the decoy in the ground. This decoy measures 14" in length and 4" in width, the same size as the half-bodied models. The relatively large number of these decoys made in several styles that I have encountered leads me to believe they were sold commercially and in quantity. As seen in the last photo, this one is marked "18/6" in pencil on the bottom which I believe indicated a sales price of 18 shillings, 6 pence. Stand not included. SOLD
What is it? Antique relief-carved moose head with high quality glass eyes, circa early 1900's. It stands 3-1/2" high and is 1-7/8" in diameter. A 7/8" diameter hole is drilled down through the top to a depth of of about 2" while another hole slightly over 1/4" in diameter is drilled horizontally with a slight downward slope into the back of the cylinder below the depth of the larger chamber. The two drillings are linked vertically by a third hole about 1/8" in diameter. The first thing that comes to mind is that the carving was intended as the bowl of a large pipe. It shows a "polish" from being handled as one might expect from a well-used favorite pipe; however, the larger chamber which might have held the tobacco shows no charring or other sign of having been used as such. Perhaps it was used as a match holder or toothpick holder. Whatever it was intended to be, it is a well crafted and item, obviously cherished by its owner. There are three raised areas on the carving that each have what appear to be single initials relief carved on the surfaces. Although worn from handling and difficult to read, the two on the side might be an"L" and a "T" while the one on the back might be a "T". Perhaps it was made for "LT" by "T". There is an age split on one side, running from the top about half way down the cylinder. SOLD