D0931: Early George G. Bussey Co. Wood Pigeon Decoy By Mr. Z

Very fine solid-bodied English wood pigeon decoy with yellow glass eyes and its original inset metal bill. Circa late 1st quarter of the 20th century, it is a very early example from the Geo. G. Bussey Co., one of London’s premier sporting goods dealers, The company was founded by George Gibson Bussey (1829-1889) around 1860 and remained in business in London's Peckham district until the late 1940s. Recent research (see "What's In A Name", Hunting & Fishing Collectibles Magazine, Nov-Dec 2019, Pgs 40-46) indicates that these decoys were made for Bussey by an unknown Yorkshire carver I've dubbed "Mr. Z". This decoy has deeply carved shoulders and wing outlines with a carved and fluted tail. Measuring 15" in length and 4 1/2" across the shoulders, it is in excellent original paint, done in he species' breeding plumage. As was the case with many early pigeon decoys, the body was made of multiple pieces. In this case, the bottom of the breast is a 1" thick lamination. Stand included.

Price: $995.00

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Wood Pigeon Decoy Article: English Wood Pigeon Decoys 101, A Primer

Viewable here at no charge. An introductory article I have written on English wood pigeon decoys, published in the March-April 2015 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. The article is posted as written; however further research has resulted in some changes in the identification of several carvers. Two later articles on wood pigeon decoys are also posted on my (this) website, each containing current identifications and information.

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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.

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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: $435.00

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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: $375.00

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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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