D0710: Frank Willis Greater Scaup Drake

Fine half to two-thirds scale hollow-carved greater scaup drake decoy by Frank C. Willis of Redwood City, California, circa mid-1960s. Willis (1918-1997) carved between 300 and 400 fine decorative decoys from old growth redwood between the mid-1960s and early 1980s. Willis was a perennial winner in the annual Pacific Flyway Decoy Contests. This bird is signed "Frank C. Willis" and identified by species and gender. There is no date or number as Willis provided on most of his carvings. Even the stacked initials "FW" are atypical in that they are penciled in rather than incised. The unusual characteristics exhibited by this carving lead me to believe that this is one of his earliest birds, accomplished before he had settled on the pattern he would follow for the next 15 to 20 years. Even the pose of this bird, with the head snuggled down in a content position, is rare for a Willis carving. It is in mint original condition with glass eyes and detailed feather paint and measures just over 12" in length. See the July/August 2009 issue of Decoy Magazine for a article on Willis by Paul Mazzilli. SOLD

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D0737: Keith Mueller White-Winged Scoter Drake Decoy

Fine solid-bodied white-winged scoter drake decoy by Keith Mueller of Killingworth, CT, circa 1980s. This is a big bird, measuring 20" in overall length, 9" in width and standing 7" tall at the head, not including the keel. The decoy is in excellent original paint and is branded "Mueller"on the keel. There are several very tight hairline cracks in the decoy with the most noticeable one running from the left breast up into the back. It's easy to see why Keith is considered to be among a small handful of the top contemporary decoy carvers. He has been awarded the title of World Chqmpion Carver twice and is the only carver to win all three hunting decoy divisions at the prestigious Ward World Championships. Keith has won over 250 "Best of Show" awards world-wide and has works displayed in numerous museums, including at the internationally acclaimed Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum "Birds in Art" exhibit. SOLD

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M280: Russ Burr Miniature Bobwhite Quail, Circa 1940

Three miniature Bobwhite quail on driftwood by Russ Burr (1887 - 1955), Hingham, Massachusetts, circa 1940. Burr began carving in 1937 and continued into the early 1950s. This is an early carving, accomplished before he began stamping his work. Each quail measures approximately 2" in length. The driftwood base is about 7" long. From the bottom of the base to the top of the head of the highest quail measures roughly 3 1/2". Each quail is in original detailed feather paint with wire legs and painted eyes. See Birds in Wood and Paint by Joe Ellis, pages 92-98.

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D0661: Ole T. Gunderson Canvasback Drake Decoy

Solid-bodied swimming canvasback drake with great form, glass eyes and carved bill delineation by Ole T. Gunderson (1883 - 1960) of Ashby, Minnesota, circa 1940s. The decoy appears to be original paint but may have some some repaint, particularly to the black areas. The body is carved with a hard chine at the midline around the entire circumference. Gunderson was one of the few carvers from the Lake Christina area and was only recently identified by Doug Lodermeier in his book, Minnesota Duck Decoys. The decoy measures slightly over 18" in length, 7" in width and 8" in height. SOLD

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M053: Deltacraft Decoy Pattern, Milwaukee School/Warren Dettman

Deltacraft Plan, No.4642, Duck Decoys, shows a plan to make a hollow-bodied decoy of laminated construction. Deltacraft was part of Delta Manufacturing Co., Milwaukee. The plan shows that it was drawn by "E.H." and designed by Ed Hamilton. The plan was mailed in a Delta Mfg. envelope and stamped, "Aug 17, 1945". The decoy pictured is easily recognizable as one of a form attributed by most decoy auction houses to Warren Dettman of Milwaukee, circa 1935. The fold-out plan measures 38" in width and 24" in height. See D0212 and D0720 in the Waterfowl Decoys section of this website for a mallard drake and hen attributed to Dettman. This plan is pictured on page 137 of "Collecting Antique Bird Decoys and Duck Calls" by Luckey and Lewis. Price includes US shipping. SOLD

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D0720: Warren Dettman Mallard Hen Decoy

Solid-bodied mallard hen decoy with carved raised wings, glass eyes and strong original detailed scratch-feather paint, circa 1930s. It measures 16.5" in length, 7" in width and is almost 8" high at the head. The decoy is attributed to Warren Dettman of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, circa 1935, by most of the decoy auction houses, but that attribution is questioned by some. The decoy is definitely from the Milwaukee Public Museum (MPM) "school". Dettman was a taxidermist at MPM and taught others, particularly WPA workers hired by the museum, to carve decoys. There is a possibility that these decoys were carved by one of those students. See D0212 in this section for a hollow mallard drake attributed to Dettman. The two decoys are definitely by the same hand but are stylistically different. SOLD

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D0621: Upstate New York Redhead Drake Decoy

Excellent solid-bodied, glass-eyed redhead drake decoy by an unknown carver from Niagara Falls, New York, circa 1st quarter, 20th century. One of a small rig of redheads and scaup found around 1990, it has a well-rounded body with upturned tail and unique head and bill carving. The decoy is in bold original paint with a highly stylized wingtip paint pattern. This bird is one of the few that survived in original paint. I have seen several others from that rig that had the initials "EK" carved into the bottoms. It measures approximately 13.5" in length, 6.5" in width and 6.5" high at the top of the head. Great example of American folk art! See the Adrian Morris Antiques website for a scaup by this same carver priced at $2450.00! SOLD

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D0722: English Wood Pigeon Decoy

Well done English wood pigeon decoy by an unknown carver, circa 1930. Other than for touch-up to a bill repair, the decoy is in light to moderately worn original paint depicting the breeding plumage. Solid-bodied with glass eyes and deeply carved shoulders, it is in excellent structural condition other than the aforementioned bill repair. The bird measures approximately 15" from the tip of the bill to the tip of the tail. The stand 1s included. SOLD

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