D0773: Harry Boddy Wood Pigeon Decoy

Wood pigeon decoy by Harry Earnest Boddy, Walderslade, Kent, United Kingdom, circa 1935. The bird, painted in fall plumage, is in lightly worn original paint with a very fine patina and has been hit with shot. As with all of Boddy's birds, it has screw eyes set in separate grommets to simulate eye rings, a cast metal beak and relief carved shoulders. The decoy measures 13-1/2" in length and 4" in width. Boddy was probably the most prolific of the English carvers, enjoying a career that probably began in the early 1930s and ran approximately until WWII. Overall, the paint on his 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. 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

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D0770: TRU-ISS Wood Pigeon Decoy

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

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D0769: Feeding English Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1935

Feeding wood pigeon decoy by Harry Earnest Boddy, Walderslade, 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

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D0766/0767: Pair of John Roth Bluebill Decoys

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". SOLD

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D0765: Mark Kears Canada Goose Decoy

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

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M324: Leo McIntosh Green-Winged Teal Drake Decoy

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

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D0763: English Wood Pigeon Decoy by Harry Earnest Boddy

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

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M323: Richard & Marion Harris Vintage Miniature Pheasant Pair

Pair of miniature ring-neck pheasants with painted eyes by Richard and Marion Harris, Old Saybrook, Connecticut, circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. Each bird measures slightly over 8" in length. Including the 13" long base, the piece is about 6-1/4" high. Both pheasants display detailed feather paint with the hen showing somewhat more fading and wear than the cock. There are relief-carved side feathers on each where the tails meet the bodies. They are mounted to the base by means of wire legs and have feet painted onto the base where mounted. The drake has what appears to be an in-the-making splice near the middle of the tail. Richard and Marion worked for Ted Mullican at Wildfowler from the mid-1940s until the late-1950s when they started their own company, Harris Wild Duck Decoys. They continued in business through the 1970s with Richard doing the carving and Marion the painting. SOLD

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