D0897/D0898: Don Gearhart Green-Winged Teal Pair, Circa 1931-1932

Excellent glass-eyed green-winged teal pair by Donald R. Gearhart (1900 - 1987), Tulsa, Oklahoma, circa 1931-1932. The drake is in lightly worn, well-executed original feather paint exhibiting a pleasing patina. It has deeply carved wings with raised wingtips, a slender neck and high head turned slightly to the left. Its "face mask" is incised as are the specula and tail feathers. There is a crack through the neck that was reglued many years ago and remains stable as well as some "puppy chew" to the tip of the bill. The hen is in excellent structural condition with lightly worn, well-executed patinated original feather paint. It, too, has deeply carved wings with incised specula and tail feathers. These carvings, known for their small size as "pocket teal", measure 10 1/2" in length, 5 1/4" height and 4 1/4" in width. The keel is missing on both. They are inscribed on the bottom in Gearhart's hand, "J. H. Abbott, McPherson, Kansas". Abbott was apparently a friend, business associate or hunting companion for whom Gearhart made the decoy. Gearhart was a senior executive with the Sinclair Oil Company. His decoys were slightly undersized, designed for use in the marshes of Louisiana. Please see Decoy Magazine, Jul/Aug 2013, for an excellent article by Gene Kangas on Gearhart and his work.

Price: $1195.00

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D0899: Ted Grace "Content" Green-Winged Teal, Circa 1950s

Excellent solid-bodied green-winged teal drake carved in the low-head "content" position by Edward Arthur "Ted" Grace (1914-1985), Walderslade, Kent, United Kingdom, circa mid-1950s. This glass-eyed teal is in nicely blended and stippled feather paint with only minor wear. It measures 11" in length, 5" in width and 3-1/2" in height. Grace was mentored by his neighbor, Henry Ernest "Harry" Boddy. After a short apprenticeship, Grace purchased the decoy business in 1951, continuing to make wood pigeon and waterfowl decoys full time until 1957 and part time until 1977. Between the two men, they might well have been England's most prolific carvers.

Price: $465.00

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D0885/D0886: Exceptional Wisconsin Mason Premier-Style Mallard Pair, Circa 1Q, 20C

Excellent pair of solid-bodied mallards, circa 1st quarter, 20th century, by an unknown Wisconsin carver, patterned after snakey-head Mason Premier mallards. The exceptional richly colored original paint which closely follows the Mason scheme displays a nice craquelure and is protected by a light coat of shellac or other sealer on both decoys. Unlike Mason Premiers, the glass eyes are set in slightly cupped depressions and the overall profile of the decoys is flatter than that of the Masons. Each has a flat bottom with a slightly beveled perimeter and measures slightly more than 17” in length, 6” in width and 6.5” in height at the head. The bills have carved mandibles and nostrils in the Mason style. A very attractive pair of collectible early decoys!

Price: $975.00

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D0884: Wayne Shaddock Ontario Black Duck Decoy

Excellent solid-bodied, glass-eyed black duck with a slightly turned head by Wayne Shaddock (1942-2001), Belleville and Trenton, Ontario, circa 1960s. The decoy is in near mint original paint other than a narrow stripe of touch up (sealer or varnish?) to two thin age cracks on the left side of the decoy. It has carved primaries, a fluted tail and carved side pockets and is marked on the bottom with Wayne's early "W" brand made with a heated piece of wire. The head is especially well detailed with carved mandibles, nostrils and nail and a unique and attractive feather paint. The decoy measures 15" in length, 4-1/2' in width and stands 5-1/2' tall at the head. Shaddock began carving as a teenager, making working and decorative decoys over a combined span of 35 years. He was proud of having birds in Buckingham Palace and in the collection of King Hussain of Jordan.

Price: $750.00

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D0868: Early Gene Hendrickson Broadbill Drake, Circa 1930

Early-style, circa 1930, hollow-bodied tack-eyed broadbill drake in original paint by Joseph Eugene "Gene" Hendrickson (1896-1971), Northfield, New Jersey. This decoy was Guyette & Schmidt's lot #128 in their July 2000 auction. According to the catalogue it was purchased by D.R. Gascoyne from Smith's Tavern in 1938. Written on bottom: "From Smith's Tavern, Rt. 9, Absecon, N.J., Dec. 7, 1938. Probably Tuckerton group of decoy makers. Barnegat Bay, N. J., hollow cedar hen (sic), greater scaup-broadbill". Measuring 14" in length and 7.5" in height, it is in strong original paint, protected by a thin coat of varnish. The decoy is flat-backed with a deep, smooth dip to a low tail and has carved nostrils and mandible separations. There is poured inletted weight in the bottom.

Price: $925.00

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D0866: Exceptional Gadwall Drake Decoy, Circa 3Q, 20C

Outstanding hollow glass-eyed gadwall drake, circa 3rd quarter, 20th century. Expertly made with carved musculature, primaries, secondaries and a fluted tail, it has incredible feather paint with expert vermiculation and detailed bill carving. The decoy measures 15" in length, just under 7" in width and stands 7" tall at the head which is turned slightly to the left. It is in near-mint original condition with only a tiny paint chip on the right edge of the bill and no repairs. While who made this fine decoy is unknown, there is no questioning either his skills or familiarity with the anatomy of waterfowl. It was most likely made as an entry to one of the major decoy carving contests of its era such as the International Decoy Contest, the U. S. National Decoy Contest or the Canadian National Decoy Makers' Contest. Unfortunately, because of possible bias in judging these decoys, the carvers were not allowed to sign or otherwise mark their works in any manner.

Price: $1475.00

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D0857/D0858: Early Seneca Lake Canvasback Decoy Pair

Very nice pair of solid-bodied canvasback decoys by H. Seymour "Putt" Smith (1878-1947), Geneva, New York, circa 1920-1930, used in Dresden Bay on Seneca Lake in upstate New York's Finger Lakes region. Both have a slightly accentuated ridge at the centerline of the backs with tapered sides on the bottom halves of the decoys. Each measures approximately 16" in length, 6.5" in width and 8" in height. They have high quality glass eyes and are in original paint except for touchup to professional neck repairs on each decoy. Structurally sound, the drake shows moderate wear while the hen has only light wear. There is a small piece of wood on the left side of the drake which was added in the making to widen the body. It remains firmly affixed with no shrinkage or separation. The drake has also been lightly hit by shot on the left side of the decoy.

Price: $975.00

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D0840: Early Maine Red-Breasted Merganser Decoy

Superb red-breasted merganser decoy by an unknown Maine carver, circa 1st quarter, 20th century. A very folky long-necked carving with original steel bill and three-piece laminated body. The stylized original polychrome paint remains bold with light to moderate wear. It measures 19" in length from the tip of the bill to the tip of the tail but only 3 1/2" in width. It stands 9" high at the crest, but the body is only 2 1/2" deep. The neck and head are 3/4" thick with the base of the neck mortised into the first layer of the body. The decoy is "blind", without glass, paint or tack eyes.

Price: $2650.00

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