Wood Pigeon Decoy Article: Yorkshire School of English Wood pigeon Decoys

Viewable here at no charge. An article I have written on the wood pigeon decoys of various carvers of the Yorkshire school, Yorkshire, United Kingdom. published in the November - December 2019 issue of Hunting and Fishing Collectibles Magazine. If you would like to subscribe to or purchase a copy of the magazine itself, please contact Stan Van Etten, Publisher, at HFCollectibles.com.

Price: $0.01

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Wood Pigeon Decoy Article: The British Are Coming!

Viewable here at no charge. An article I have written on the wood pigeon decoys of Harry Boddy and Ted Grace, published in the January - February 2017 issue of Hunting and Fishing Collectibles Magazine. If you would like to subscribe to or purchase a copy of the magazine itself, please contact Stan Van Etten, Publisher, at HFCollectibles.com.

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D0894: Ted Grace Feeding English Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1952

Feeding wood pigeon decoy by Edward Arthur "Ted" Grace, Walderslade, Kent, United Kingdom, circa 1952. The bird, painted in fall plumage, is in original feather paint with light wear. It has screw eyes set in separate grommets to simulate eye rings, a cast metal beak and relief carved shoulders. The pigeon is hollowed from below with an inset metal plate marked "Pat. 431190" (Issued to Grace's mentor, Harry Boddy in 1935) to hold the included metal spike for setting the decoy in the ground. The decoy measures 14.5" in length and 4" in width. It was made in two pieces with a convex lower piece of wood cut from the body. That piece had the center cut out by jig saw to form an elongated "horse collar" hollow and was then nailed back onto the body. This method was found to be easier to accomplish than otherwise hand-hollowing the one-piece decoy from below as seen in earlier examples. There is a clasp at the back of the tail to secure the spike when stored in the hollow body. The hollowed body allowed a light breeze to cause the decoys to bob up and down, effectively simulating live feeding birds. Stand included.

Price: $495.00

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D0892: Yorkshire Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1900

Rare wood pigeon decoy by an unknown carver from Yorkshire, United Kingdom. This is only the second I’ve had by this maker and probably just the sixth example that I’ve seen, including photos. This decoy would have been one of his earlier ones, presumably late 1800s to early 1900s. It is in original paint other than for touch up to the bill where the tip was accurately replaced. There is also a drip of green paint that starts below the eye on the right side and runs down the neck as seen in the first and third photos below. This is probably some of the paint used to create the lighter green shadings on the back of the neck. There is moderate wear and flaking on the wing edges and on the flat planes of the wings as well as on the crown of the head. There is also some chipping to the edges of the tail and some light shot scarring. The decoy measures 13.5” in length. In the last photo, the name “J. Powell” can be seen, followed by a second line which I assume is a city or town, starting “Re…” or perhaps “Be…”. There may also be a third line, a region perhaps, that starts with a “W”. So who was Powell, an owner or the maker? Please see the November-December 2019 issue of Hunting & Fishing Collectibles Magazine which includes an article I wrote titled, "What's in a Name, The Yorkshire School of English Wood Pigeon Decoys" It covers six carvers from the region, including the work of this carver who I have designated as "Mr. Z". A copy of the magazine will be included with the purchase. Stand included.

Price: $895.00

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D0874: Pair of BURBO Wood Pigeon Decoys, Circa 2Q, 20C

Set of two paper mache wood pigeons, circa early 1st quarter, 20th century. While these decoys are unmarked, another example exists that is known to be marked "BURBO", as sold by West and Son, Gunsmiths, Retford, UK. That partnership was dissolved in 1908. There are also unmarked cast metal examples of these decoys known. I suspect that the cast metal examples may have proven to be too expensive to manufacture, resulting in those decoys being used as forms from which the paper mache models were later made. I’ve seen several paper mache examples in the past, but none as nice as these. Rigors of weather and the hunt took there toll on many of these more fragile decoys. In original paint, there is flaking to the primer on the glass-eyed bodies and heads. While the bodies were made entirely of heavy paper, soaked in an adherent and laid over the cast metal forms, the heads appear to consist of small doweled wooden forms, left in place and overlaid with paper mache finishes as well. There is light shot scarring on both birds, attesting to their field use. These are large decoys, measuring 15” in length and 6” in width. Meant to be set directly on the ground, they also measure 6” from the hollow bottoms to the crowns of the heads. As can be seen photos, the heads can be rotated to any position, giving a more realistic appearance to the spread of decoys.

Price: $425.00

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D0862: Early Unknown Cheshire English Wood Pigeon

Very nice wood pigeon decoy by an unknown English carver, circa 1920s - 1930s. Hunted on a farm in Cheshire, UK, it is likely from that area. The decoy is in very good original condition with glass eyes and carved raised wings. A gouge was used on the underside to partially hollow out the decoy, presumably to make it lighter so it would move in the wind when mounted on a stake. A big, broad-backed decoy, it measures 5 " across the shoulders and 13 1/2" in length. There is a tight age split running from the bird's crown to the back (see third photo). Hand-whittled with knife marks visible, variations in size and structure between this decoy and its rigmate, D0861, lead me to believe that they were carved by a hunter for his personal use rather than by a commercial maker. The last photo shows this decoy along with its rigmate, available separately. The two exhibit an individuality not always seen in their commercially produced counterparts, a sort of “swagger”, if you will! Stand not included.

Price: $495.00

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