D0761: Swimming Louisiana Pintail Drake Decoy

A very animated carving of a swimming pintail drake by Jerome "Jerry" Dupre of New Orleans, Louisiana. This is one of Jerry's earlier working decoys, circa the late 1960s, carved while he was working in the Thibodaux's oil fields. The decoy's outstretced head with glass eyes is turned roughly 15 degrees to the left and canted slightly to the right. The expertly carved bird exhibits raised and crossed primaries, incised feather carving on the upper sides and a lightly fluted tail. There is a small amount of old touchup at the tip of the tail where it appears a small sliver was glued back in place; otherwise the decoy is in excellent detailed original paint. Measuring almost 22" in length and 6" in width across the shoulders, the feather-light decoy was carved from cypress root. SOLD

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M337: Nesting Woodcock With Clutch Of Eggs

Excellent full-sized nesting woodcock with clutch of five carved eggs by an unidentified maker. The carving is in finely detailed original paint with no repairs or touch up. It was collected in Ithaca, New York, and is quite possibly from that area. There is what appears to be a signature on the base, but it is completely illegible. The numbers "19" and "83" precede and follow, respectively, the signature and are presumed to be the year the carving was made. However, on the underside of the bird itself, there are initials that are more legible, including "RW" and either a "G" or "C". Immediately following this last letter are what could be the rest of a last name. Ingeniously, there are two tubes set into the body as thighs that allow the woodcock to be set on or removed from the wire legs. The woodcock measures about 9" in length and stands 8" high, including the base. SOLD

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D0781: Harry Boddy Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1930s

Very nice wood pigeon decoy by Harry Earnest Boddy, Chatham, Kent, United Kingdom, circa 1930s. The bird, painted in fall plumage, is in lightly worn original paint with a very nice patina and one shot scar. As with all of Boddy's birds, it has screw eyes set in separate shoe eyelets to simulate eye rings and relief carved shoulders. The bill appears to be an early replacement. The decoy measures 13-1/2" in length and 4" in width. Boddy was one of the most prolific of the English carvers, enjoying a career that began in the 1920s and ran until 1951 when he sold his decoy business to Edward Grace. Overall, the paint on Boddy's decoys was the most artfully accomplished of the commercially produced wood pigeon decoys, with flowing brush strokes, subtle shading and elaborate wet-on-wet blending. Stand not included. 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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D0600: James Rolph Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1925 - 1935

Excellent early English wood pigeon decoy, circa 1920s - 1930s, attributed to James Rolph of Elveden, Suffolk, United Kingdom. A fat-bodied bird measuring 14.5-inches in length, it has glass eyes, its original bill, deeply incised shoulder and wing outlines, raised wingtips and some feather carving. The original paint has a nice patina and is in near-mint condition with very minor wear other than a rub on one edge of the tail. Rolph carved from roughly 1910 until the 1930s. Made after the end of WWI when Rolph acquired a bandsaw for cutting out the rough decoy, this decoy has a more rounded body and raised wingtips, features his earlier decoys lacked. His earlier birds were somewhat rectangular and blocky in cross section, reflecting the exclusive use of hand tools in the making of his decoys. Rolph was the son of Francis Rolph, himself a decoy maker, and the father-in-law of William Jaggard who joined the family business in the early 1930s. One of James's decoys, unidentified as to maker, can be found in the Guyette/Sotheby catalog of Dr. Jim McCleery's collection (Lot 559, Jan 2000). 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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D0771: Matched Pair of Delaware River Pintail Decoys by Rick Brown

Beautiful matched pair of life-size hollow Delaware River pintail decoys by Fredrick C. "Rick" Brown, Brick Township, New Jersey. Rick was the founder and owner of Barnegat Bay Decoys which he started on the old Wildfowler Decoy Company site in the 1970s. 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. These decoys are hand carved in the traditional Delaware River style from air-dried Jersey white cedar with detailed bills, raised primaries, fluted tails, hollow bodies, high quality glass eyes, lead pad weights and leather line ties. The incredibly detailed feather paint is in a word, "superb". Each bird is signed and dated 2015 and bears Rick's personal copper ID tag. The drake, with its head turned about fifteen degrees to the left, measures approximately 20" in length, 5-1/4" in width and 7-1/4" in height. The hen is 18" long, 5-1/4" in width and 6-1/4" in height and has its head turned about fifteen degrees to the right. SOLD

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D0778: Jess Heisler Black Duck Decoy

Classic Delware River black duck decoy by Jess Heisler (1891 - 1943), Burlington City, NJ, circa 1935. Heisler was known as a quality boat builder as well as a first class professional decoy maker whose work approached that of John and Dan English. This decoy has a hollow three-piece body; raised, grooved and deeply notched primaries and a head in a tucked or contented position. It measures just over 15" in length, sits 6-1/2" high at the head and is 5-1/2" wide. The detailed scalloped feather paint shows very little wear other than a scrape on the left cheek and several small dings near the neck seat below that cheek. The decoy is rigged with a leather tie and Heisler's beveled lead pad weight secured by ten brads. It is branded "R. A. Stockon" on the bottom, indicating that it came from the rig of Russell Augustus Stockton of Burlington. His rig is known to have included quality decoys by the Englishes as well as by Heisler. I purchased this bird directly from Stockton's granddaughter. SOLD

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D0695: Classic Nathan Cobb, Jr., Black Duck Decoy

Exceptional hollow-carved black duck by Nathan Cobb, Jr., Cobb Island, Virginia, with good serifed "N" carved in bottom. Circa 1890. The decoy has an inlet head with fine bulbous neck, glass eyes and typical Cobb's Island wing carving. An eye groove extends from the bill to the back of the head. The bottom board of this hollow carving is pegged to the upper body from below. The bird is in outstanding structural condition with a few tight age lines in body. The paint on the head of the decoy appears to be original while the body has traces of original that has been strengthened. Formerly in the collection of William L. Butler, Jr., this is a highly collectible classic southern decoy with superb form and an impeccable provenance. It is pictured in Plates 407 and 408 on page 197 of Southern Decoys of Virginia and the Carolinas by Henry Fleckenstein, Jr.

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D0146: Os Bibber Oldsquaw Drake Decoy

Superb winter plumage oldsquaw drake decoy in exceptional original paint in a very stylized pattern with a fine patina, by Orlando S. "Os" Bibber (1882 -1971), South Harpswell, Maine, circa 1st quarter, 20th century. The solid-bodied decoy has painted eyes with the head turned approximately 15 degrees to the right. It has a finely carved bill with "dimples" where the bill meets the face. It is in excellent structural condition with a rectangular plug "in-the-making" centered in the back, behind the head. It isn't known whether the plug was inserted to prevent cracking or simply to repair a flaw in the wood. Regardless, this characteristic shows up in other decoys by Bibber, including a similar decoy from Doc Starr's (and later, Dr. Jim McCleery's) collection. Starr described these as "One of the finest quandies (oldsquaw) I have ever seen". Other collectors agree. Bibber's birds are recognized as being among the best, if not the best, from the Maine coast. An engineer by trade, the influence of his training can be seen in the precision execution of his carvings. Delicately carved, they do not have the inlet heads found so often on decoys from the region. This decoy is the best of no more than a half dozen in this style and paint pattern known to exist. SOLD

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