M372: Ernie Muehlmatt Spotted Sandpiper, Dated 1971

Excellent spotted sandpiper in near-mint original condition by E. F. “Ernie” Muehlmatt of Salisbury, Maryland, circa 1971. The carving is signed and dated, “Carved by E. F. Muehlmatt, spotted sandpiper, 3/71”. Mounted on a 9” long piece of burnished driftwood and standing 5 1/2” high at the wing tips, the bird itself measures 5 1/2” from tip of bill to tip of tail. There are no repairs and only pinpoint paint rubs to the tips of the bill and wings. Muehlmatt (1927-2016), three-time Ward World Champion (1979, 1981, 1984), began carving in 1967 and was a master of life-size and miniature decorative wood sculpture, becoming one of the most talented, sought after and popular carvers in wildfowl art. His work can be found in the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury, Maryland, and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin. He is a member of the Carvers' Hall of Fame and owned and operated Muehlmatt Studios in Salisbury.

Price: $795.00

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M370: Three-Quarter Scale Redhead Drake, Richard & Marion Harris

Three-quarter scale Wildfowler-style decorative redhead drake by Richard and Marion Harris, Harris Wild Duck Decoys, Old Saybrook, Connecticut, circa 1960. The Harris's worked for Wildfower for 25 years, he as a carver and she as a painter, until the company moved to Quogue, Long Island, in the winter of 1957-1958. The solid-bodied carving, made of high grade Eastern white pine, is in excellent original paint other than for touchup at a tight and stable crack through the neck. One of the glass eyes is cracked but otherwise intact. The bird measures 11" in length, 4 3/4" in width and stands 5" tall at the head. As was characteristic of their work, black paint was used to indicate the separation of the bill and face. As was less common but seen in a few of their carvings, the margin between the face and bill was also wood-burned. A similar example can be seen on page 161 of Wildfowler Decoys by Dick Cowan and Dick LaFountain.

Price: $150.00

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M371: Early Decorative Common Snipe Carving

Well-accomplished decorative glass-eyed carving of a common (Wilson's) snipe in a marsh setting by an unknown maker, circa 3rd quarter, 20th century. Measuring 10" from the tip of the bill to the tip of the tail, the full-sized carving is in original paint with overall detailed feather and bill carving and a fluted tail. The wing primaries are separately carved and inset into the body. This is an early example of the realistic style of bird carving with most, if not all, of the carving done by hand rather than by small power tools. Other than a small area of flaking on the left wing coverts and some cracking in the gesso of the thighs, the carving is in near-mint condition. It is set on a mahogany base with a stump and marsh grass simulated by thin copper blades. There is a small paper sticker on the bottom with 4/23/96 printed on it; possibly a purchase date from the MDCA show at Pheasant Run that year.

Price: $395.00

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M369: Joe Ahearn Bobwhite Quail Diorama, Circa 1940s

Fine diorama of a pair of flying bobwhite quail (male above, female below), by James Joseph "Joe" Ahearn (1904-1963), Stamford, CT and New York City, circa 1940s. An excellent effort, these roughly half-scale full-bodied quail measure 4 1/2" in length (tip of bill to tip of tail) with 6" wingspans. The diorama is in excellent structural condition with a few scratches and overall light wear to the Arts and Crafts style frame which is 10 1/8" x 12 3/8" x 3". The quail themselves are in mint condition with tiny glass taxidermy eyes, carved primaries and excellent detailed feather paint. Ahearn became well-known in the mid-1940's as a carver of miniatures. It is unclear when he began carving them although it is presumed that he started in the late 1930's, if not sooner. While Joe lived in the New York City area where he was a salesman for the National Cash Register Company he was known to have carved miniatures while on the road. At the onset of World War II, he and his wife moved to Stamford, Connecticut. The first documentation of his carvings being offered for sale is in the 1945-46 catalog of the Sporting Gallery and Bookstore in New York City. This catalog featured a wide selection of Ahearn's "functional hunter" and "sportsman oriented" items such as lamps, wall thermometers, letter openers, coat racks, tie racks, pipe racks, book ends and ashtrays in a variety of configurations. It was around this time that he also began offering his miniature carvings of waterfowl and upland game birds. One of the first and certainly the most important retailer to carry his carvings was the Crossroads of Sport store in New York City. They were enjoying a huge demand for A. J. King's miniatures and were more than eager to complement his products with another carver's work. Ahearn is featured in "Birds in Wood and Paint" by Joe Ellis. SOLD

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M343: Carved Pheasant Brooch, Arlene Anderson, Circa 1950s

Pheasant brooch or pin by Arlene Anderson (1915-2014), Watertown, South Dakota, circa 1950s. Very detailed carving of a flying cock pheasant, measuring only 4" in length with a 2 1/2" wingspan. It has carved wing and tail feathers and glossy polychrome feather paint. A pin is affixed to the back of the brooch. The piece is in mint original condition.

Price: $45.00

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M072: I. W. Harper Vitrolite Advertising Sign,

Rare and extremely popular I. W. Harper Whiskey advertising sign, titled "Here's Happy Days", a terrific hunting vignette depicting a hunting cabin with a dog, guns and a bear skin hanging on the wall, copyrighted 1909 by Bernheim Distilling Company. The piece is a chromolithograph transfer on Vitrolite (milk glass) with deep, rich colors, set in its original split log frame. Vitrolite was a structural glass manufactured by The Meyercord Co. of Chicago. Image size approximately 17" x 23”, overall size is 25” x 31”. It is often displayed with light behind it which gives it an even more outstanding presence. The sign itself is in near-mint and undamaged origina1 condition, set in it's original wooden frame.

Price: $1975.00

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M364: Miniature Mallard Hen, The Ruppel Co., Early 3Q, 20C

Glass-eyed miniature mallard hen by The Ruppel Company (Walter Ruppel), Portland, Oregon, circa early 3rd quarter, 20th century (pre-zip code). The carving retains the company's paper sticker, reading "The Ruppel Company, P. O. Box 32, Portland 7, Oregon". The balsa bird is in original paint with a stippled body and painted primary feathers. There is some paint loss to the edges and the tip of the tail, a paint or varnish drip of the left side and some flaking on the bottom. The carving measures 6.5" in length, 3" in width and stands 3" high at the had.

Price: $150.00

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M363: Louisiana Bobwhite Quail, Circa 2 Q, 20 C.

Vintage bob white quail by an unknown maker, carved in approximately one-half scale from a single piece of cypress root, including the base. Although it stands 6.25" tall, it is very lightweight, weighing only 2.5 ounces. The carving was found in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and appears to be circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. Other than some touch up to the legs and bill, the carving is in original paint with a nice patina. The base was broken off just above the feet and at one time and professionally rejoined with the body. A very nice carving showing good age!

Price: $150.00

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