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
Excellent solid-bodied pintail drake with tack eyes by Joseph A. "Jake" Ferreira (1904-1981) of Newark, California, circa 1935. Jake was known as one of the area's most stylish and inventive decoy carvers, making nearly one thousand most remarkable pintail decoys to be used by hunting clubs in San Francisco's South Bay in the 1930's and 1940's. Nothing similar to his decoys is to be found elsewhere in the West. Although Ferreira used patterns, each decoy is slightly different from the others, yet they shared the characteristics of raised wingtips in a Delaware River style, thin necks and simple but effective paint patterns. This decoy, measuring 19" in length and a full 9" in height at the head, displays especially fine form with a streamlined body and an elegant high neck. The paint is all original except for a small area of touch up at a well-executed professional repair to a crack in the neck. The high quality brownish-green paint on the body of the decoy was "borrowed" by Jake while working at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard. There is light chipping to the wing tips and tail tip with paint loss to those areas as well as some paint loss to small spots on one side of the tail, the crown of the head and the tip of the bill. There is also a tight and very slight age split in the back of the decoy. See pgs. 220 - 222, Wildfowl Decoys of the Pacific Coast, Miller and Hanson. SOLD
English wood pigeon decoy by William Jaggard of Norfolk, United Kingdom, circa 1930s. He carved from roughly 1930 until the mid-1950s. This bird, with its original carved wooden bill and separately carved head is one of his earlier decoys. Lightly used with a pleasing patina, this stylish pigeon is slightly oversized in comparison with his later work, measuring almost 15" in length, 3.75" in width and slightly over 3" in depth at the breast. It has relief carved shoulders and wings and white glass eyes. The full-bodied carving is in original paint depicting the species' fall plumage. The painting was done by William's daughters. The separately carved head is most unusual in decoys of this species. In fact, it and a rigmate are the only two I've ever seen with this characteristic by any carver. Jaggard continued the carving business of his father-in-law, James Ralph Jaggard. When found, the paper portion of a .410 gauge shotgun shell had been inserted in the stick hole to reduce its diameter. It reads, "Jeffery's Special Club, 9 Golden Square, London W. I., Trade ( "J" in an oval) Mark". It was made by W. J. Jeffery & Co, a London gunsmith and sporting wholesaler/retailer in the early 1930s. The business was located in the Golden Square address from 1927 - 1957. Stand not included. SOLD
Fine standing green-winged teal drake by Paul Nock (1912-2005) of Salisbury, Maryland, signed and dated 1971 on the bottom of the driftwood base. The carving is in outstanding original condition, marred only by a small rub on the bird's crest, a little roughness on the edge of the tail and slight crazing and wear on the primary feathers of the wings. The carving is texturally superb with individually carved crest feathers, fluted and barbed tail feathers and a light overall rasping. The primaries, side pockets and bill are carved in great detail, resulting in a most life-like rendition. Mentored by his close friends, Lem and Steve Ward, Paul has showcased his painting skills at his best in this exceptional piece. Carved in roughly 2/3-scale, the bird measures 9-1/2" from the tip of the bill to the tip of the tail. Including the base, it is 14" wide and 7" high. An accomplished carver, Nock has won top awards at the US National and International Decoy Contests and was an instigating force in the formation of the Salisbury carving show which would eventually become the Ward Foundation. SOLD
Unknown cock pheasant found in Massachusetts, circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. Very nice carving in original condition with painted eyes, carved crests, molded thighs and wire legs. The rich polychrome paint is beautifully done with intricate feather detail and displays a very nice patina. I find the vivid colors of this carving to be especially appealing. A light crazing serves only to enhance its overall appearance. As seen in the last two photos, there is very light "puppy chew" to the tip of the tail. The carving measures just over 10" in length from the tip of the bill to the tip of the tail and stands roughly 7" high including the base which is covered on the bottom with a heavyweight construction paper. SOLD
Standing pintail drake by William "Bid" Furness (1909-1965), an upper Delaware River carver from National Park, New Jersey, circa 1950s. Roughly 2/3-scale carving with a 2-piece laminated body, glass eyes, inset tail sprig, incised bill and nostrils and raised wingtips. The bold feather paint displays a nice patina with light crazing and is original except for touch up where the two legs join the body (professional repair by Steve Weaver). As seen in the photos, there are slight separations of the neck joint and the body seam on the left side of the car4ving. The carving measures about 16" in length from the tip of the sprig to the tip of the bill and stands 9-1/2" tall at the head. It closely resembles the work of John McLoughlin of Bordentown, NJ, a contemporary of Furness. The underside of one foot is signed "Furness Decoys", the other, "Furness". "339 (334?) Noyes" is written in ink on the bottom of the duck and "Noyes" is scratched into the black paint under the tail. Fred Noyes, founder of the Noyes Museum in Brigantine, NJ, is known to have purchased decoys from "Bid" for display in his restaurant around 1959. This carving was acquired by John Delph when it was deaccessioned from the Noyes Museum. See Decoy Magazine, Jan/Feb 1991, pgs. 24-27, for an article on Furness by Charles Seidel. SOLD
Miniature mallard drake in excellent blended original paint by Elmer Crowell, East Harwich, Massachusetts, mounted on a desk box. While the miniature is set in such a manner that the base of the carving cannot be seen, the bifurcated eye style marks this carving as having come from the era in which Crowell's rectangular stamp was used, circa 1930s. The carved duck measures 4-1/2" in length, 1-3/4" in width and stands approximately 1-1/8" high at the head, not including the box. The box itself is made from maple with a lacquered finish and is roughly 7" wide, 5" from front to back and 2-1/2" high. The lid of the box is slightly sprung and has a small crack at one of the the hinges in back. SOLD
Outstanding pair of diminutive hand-carved miniature bobwhite quail by Harry and Norma Vreeland of Greenlawn, Long Island, New York, circa 1965. Each quail, mounted on the base with wire legs and feet, measures only 2" in length. Overall, the piece is 6" wide and just over 4" in height. The quail exhibit minutely detailed and exceptional feather paint in mint original condition. The carving is signed "H. VREELAND" on the back of the base. Working as a team, Harry carved and Norma usually painted, although Harry was also a very accomplished painter. His painting is almost indistinguishable from Norma's. Much of their work, which was featured in the Winter 1974 issue of North American Decoys Magazine, was sold through The Crossroads of Sport in New York City.