D0837: John Barnhart Ringneck Drake Decoy, Circa 1900

Rare ringneck drake by John Barnhart (1849-1924), Canton, Illinois, circa late 1800s to early 1900s. Little is known about Barnhart other than that he was affiliated with Barnhart Greenhouse in Canton, and that he was a skilled decoy carver, many of which were made prior to 1900. The bill is carved in Barnhart's easily recognized style. The bottom half of the body is carved with a "V" taper and a flat plane for the weight. This hollow-bodied decoy is in excellent structural condition with a tight body seam. As was characteristic of Barnhart's decoys, the head is made of two pieces of wood laminated together vertically and is likewise tight. This seam can be seen on the crown of the head and on the underside of the bill. The decoy appears to be in original paint with the exception of the black areas which may be in old working overpaint although a black light shows no anomalies in the paint.

Price: $895.00

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D0836: Thousand Islands Black Duck Decoy, Circa 1960s

Very fine magnum solid-bodied black duck from New York's Thousand Islands region. In near-mint condition with intricately detailed feather paint, this monster measures 20" in length, 8" in width and stands 7.5" tall at the head, not including the keel. There is a tight crack in the neck, held securely in place by the dowel used to secure the head to the body. Although the maker of this decoy is presently unknown, it shares some characteristics with those of Woodville's Ken Harris. The initials "MR", which were marked into the bottom before the decoy was painted using the threaded post of a screw to impress the letters into the wood, could offer a clue as to the maker. Don E. Wolfe (1912-1990), Cape Vincent, NY, has also been suggested as a possible maker. Born in Rochester, NY, his carving career began in 1947 when he moved to Cedar Point State Park outside Cape Vincent where he worked with the park commission in maintenance and construction. Working during the slow winter periods, Wolfe carved about two dozen decoys each year through the 1960s.

Price: $295.00

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D0826: Capt. James Stanley Green-Winged Teal Decoy, Circa 1900

Very rare hollow-carved green-winged teal by Capt. James Stanley (1855-1927), Cape Vincent, NY, circa 1910. The decoy is in original paint with an excellent and accurate professional bill repair . There is a slight separation at the body seam. Stanley was a well known artist, photographer and taxidermist and worked as a guide on the St. Lawrence River where he used his limited production of decoys. This diminutive decoy is 12" long, 5" wide and stands 4-1/2" high at the head.

Price: $1950.00

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D0822: Wildfowler Green-Winged Teal Drake Decoy, Circa 1950

Handsome decorative solid-bodied green-winged teal drake by Old Saybrook Wildfowler. As detailed in Wildfowler Decoys by Richard Cowan and Dick LaFountain, the machine-carved face/bill separation indicates this decoy was made somewhere between 1942 and 1957. After studying photos of this decoy, LaFountain and Tim Sieger ascertained that the decoy was possibly painted by Harry Ross, circa 1950-1955, as either a production model or for an order for Abercrombie and Fitch in 1955. Measuring only 11 1/2" in length and 4 1/2" in both width and height, the decoy is in expertly-applied thick original oil paint displaying a very pleasing patina. The back of the decoy is machine-carved with raised wingtips. There is a tight, thin crack at the neck seat, a paint chip at the tip of the bill and an extremely fine and nearly imperceptible hair-line crack in the bill. The felt on the bottom conceals any possible stamps or signatures.

Price: $375.00

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D0820: Wildfowler Mallard Hen Decoy, Point Pleasant, NJ, Dated 1973

Near-mint mallard hen by Wildfowler Decoys, Point Pleasant, New Jersey (1961-1977), circa 1973. Charlie Birdsall bought the Wildfowler Decoy Company from Rab Staniford, Quogue, Long Island, New York, in 1961 and moved the company to his home in Point Pleasant (See Chapter Three of Cowan and LaFountain’s Wildfowler Decoys). While Birdsall did a great deal of the carving and painting, he also employed a number of excellent assistants, especially painters. One of the most notable was William (Bill) Keim who painted this decoy, as attested to by his signature under the bill. While this carving is unstamped, ”Norman 1973" is printed on the bottom. Although Keim painted this decoy, it is possible that "Norman" refers in some way to Norman Smith, himself an exceptional painter during Wildfowler's Quogue days. This decoy is in excellent original paint with a small amount of bubbling on its left side from sap seepage. The glass-eyed bird, measuring about 15 1/2” in length, 7” in width, and 5 1/2” in height, has its head turned about 15 degrees to the right.

Price: $225.00

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D0819: Lloyd Sterling Swimming Mallard Drake Decoy, Circa 2Q, 20C

Hollow-carved mallard drake decoy in rare swimming posture by Lloyd Sterling, Crisfield, Maryland, circa late 2nd quarter, 20th century. This glass-eyed decoy was carved from a lightweight wood such as balsa or cypress root and hollowed from below. The recess was then covered and sealed by a thin, pear-shaped bottom board (see last photo). The carving was identified as being by Sterling when sold in a Julia & Guyette auction in 1991. There is a small amount of touch up to the white around the bottom board and extending a short distance up the sides, otherwise the decoy is in original paint with light wear. Weighing under a pound, it measures 19" in length, 6.5" in width and is 3.5" high. Among Crisfield's early carvers, Lloyd was second only to his contemporaries, the Ward Brothers.

Price: $375.00

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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.

Price: $675.00

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D0799: Vintage Sleeping Connecticut Black Duck Decoy, 3 Q, 20 C

Found in Northport, NY, this very fine solid-bodied, glass-eyed sleeping black duck by an unknown maker was carved in the Stratford, Connecticut, style and is quite likely from that area, circa 3rd quarter, 20th century. Carved from what appears to be cherry wood, it has never been rigged and was most likely carved as a "mantle bird". It measures 15" in length from breast to tail, 6.5" in width and 6" in height. The wing edges are incised, the bill is well detailed and the realistically turned neck and head showcase the carver's understanding and mastery of his craft. The detailed feather paint is original other than some professional touch up to some flaking.

Price: $595.00

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