D0813: Trulock & Harriss Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1880s

Classic wood pigeon decoy from the gunsmith firm of Trulock & Harriss, Suffolk, England, circa 1880s. Their decoys are considered to be the premier examples of English wood pigeons known. This example is finely crafted with detailed shoulder, wing and tail carving, glass eyes and its original molded lead bill. The softly-blended paint is strong and original with an excellent patina. A large carving measuring almost 17" in length, the decoy exhibits overall feather carving with the breast and throat feathers carved in a fine scallop pattern and deeply carved edging on the wing coverts, primaries and fluted tail. The high head is carved in an alert position. As with many of the decoys by this maker, the lower portion of the breast is laminated to the rest of the body. Other than a small amount of chipping on the underside of the tail, the structural condition of the carving is exceptional. Although who carved these decoys for Trulock and Harriss is not known, a strong arguement can be made that the birds were made by the same craftsmen tasked with making the gunstocks for the gunsmith's primary product, perhaps on a seasonal basis or as a filler during slack periods. Lot 498 in the April 2015 Guyette and Deeter auction pictured a very similar example. 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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D0811: Long-Billed Curlew Decoy

Handsome long-billed curlew decoy by an unknown carver, circa 4th quarter, 20th century. It has glass eyes and a very well-crafted cast iron bill and shows modest wear. A large bird measuring 16.5" from the tip of the bill to the end of the tail, it is in intricately detailed original feather paint except for touch up to the neck where the head was broken off and glued back in place. The head is turned about 20 degrees to the right. Judging from the quality of the paint match, the repair was most likely done by the carver. The decoy is signed on the bottom with stylized initials, perhaps DK or RD. Stand not included. SOLD

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D0809: Unknown Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa Early 3rd Q, 20th C

Unknown balsa-bodied wood pigeon decoy in near-mint condition. It appears to have been influenced by the decoys of Harry Boddy and Ted Grace. It was most likely made in the late 1950s to early 1960s after Ted Grace's retirement from full-time carving in 1957. The eyes are somewhat similar in makeup to the Boddy and Grace decoys with a black-headed tack seated in a white grommet. The shoulder and wing edges are also lightly carved; however, the bill is wooden rather than poured lead and the paint, while similar in overall pattern, lacks the free-flowing brushstrokes of those by the earlier makers. In all likelihood, this was one of the last of the wooden decoys made for resale, soon to be replaced by counterparts made from fiberglass and other man-made materials. The decoy measures 14.5" in length. Stand not included. SOLD

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D0808: Early Judge Malatrop Kovenhoven New Jersey Ruddy Turnstone Decoy

Very early painted-eye ruddy turnstone by Judge Malatrop Kovenhoven, Raritan Bay, New Jersey. A rigmate to this decoy from Summers Headley's collection was pictured on the cover of Decoy Magazine's Summer 1984 issue. Headley identified it as being circa 1870. The decoy is in stylishly- patterned bold original paint with a pleasing cracklature and its original nail bill. There are shot scars on the left side of the decoy. The decoy measures 11" from bill to tail and is 1.75" thick. Turnstones are among the rarest of shorebird decoys, and few as early as this example have been documented. Stand not included. SOLD

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D0807: Spud Norman Canada GooseDecoy, Ontario

Canada goose by Harry D."Spud" Norman (1899-1977), Wolfe Island, Kingston, Ontario, circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. An excellent solid-bodied decoy with very strong folk art appeal. It exhibits deeply carved raised wing tips, a carved feather pattern on the wings and body, a fluted tail, tack eyes and a two-piece head and neck. The paint is all original and nicely blended with a very pleasing patina. Measuring 21" in length, 8.5" in width and standing 11" high at the head, it has a slight age split in the back but is otherwise structurally excellent. Attesting to the collector popularity of these decoys, examples of his geese are pictured in Decoys of the Thousand Islands, Ontario Decoys II and Traditions in Wood. In the latter, Fleming described Norman's geese as "exquisite". SOLD

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D0806: Ken Harris Mallard Hen Decoy, Circa 1960s

Excellent mallard hen decoy by Ken Harris (1906-1981) of Woodville, New York, circa 1960s. Ken was a duck hunter, musician and claims adjuster for an insurance company who took up decoy carving as a hobby to satisfy his own need for decoys to hunt over. He produced a wide range of working decoys and decorative pieces known for their high level of detail and realistic features and are highly sought after by collectors today. This decoy is in highly detailed original feather paint with the head turned approximately 45 degrees to the right. It measures just over 17.5" in length, 7.5" in width and stands 7" high at the head, excluding the keel. Other than a well executed professional repair to a crack in the bill and a tight separation where the neck joins the body, it is in excellent structural condition with a few shot scars on the back. SOLD

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D0805: Jake Ferreira Pintail Drake, San Fran Bay, Circa 1935

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 using a palette of chocolate brown, black, white and dark olive drab. This decoy, measuring 19" in length and a full 8.25" in height at the head, displays excellent form with a streamlined body and an elegant high neck. The paint is original except for a small areas of touch up on the back inside the raised wing tips and at a professional repair to the very tip of the bill. There is light chipping to the wing tips and tail tip with a small amount of paint loss to those areas. SOLD

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D0804: James Baines Coot Decoy

Very nice solid-bodied Potomac River coot decoy attributed to James E. Baines of southern Maryland's Charles County, near Morgantown, circa 1950. Baines, a carpenter and home builder by trade, was a waterman, waterfowl hunter and guide as well. He made decoys primarily for his hunting clientele and for his own use, the latter birds being branded "JEB" on the bottom as is this decoy. It is in excellent original condition and measures 13.5" in length, almost 6" in width and is 6" high. However, there is disagreement surrounding these birds, with a number of collectors contending that they were made Bob McGaw of Havre de Grace. With finely carved heads and classic Upper Bay bodies as well as dog-bone weights similar to those used by McGaw, it is no wonder that the confusion exists. While a large number of decoys from the region were shaped on a lathe, this one was roughed out on a band saw and shaped by draw knife and spoke shave before finish sanding, as was Baines' procedure. For more information on James Baines and his decoys, see the article by Jim Trimble on Baines' work in the July-August issue of Decoy Magazine. The Guyette & Schmidt sticker from their November 2003 auction remains on the bottom. SOLD

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