D0839: Ted Grace Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1951

Excellent solid-bodied English wood pigeon decoy by Edward Arthur "Ted" Grace, Walderslade, Kent, United Kingdom, circa 1951. The bird, painted in fall plumage, is in well-blended and detailed original feather paint with a nice patina and and only minor wear. A very well-formed bird, it has screw eyes set in separate shoe eyelets to simulate eye rings, a cast metal bill and relief carved shoulders. Grace purchased Harry Boddy's decoy business in 1951, worked at it full time until 1957 and continued part time until 1977. He made only minor changes that can make the decoys by the two men difficult to distinguish between. This decoy has a longer neck and more narrow head than did those made by Boddy, but the head and neck are not as long and slender as seen in Grace's later decoys. His decoys were also painted with more finesse and a lighter palette than those by Boddy. The last photo shows a pigeon by Boddy on the left, a later decoy by Grace with the more slender and extended neck and head on the right and this decoy in the center. Grace's more fluid and blended brush work as compared to Boddy's can also be seen in this last photo. It measures 14.5" in length and 4" in width. Please see my article on the decoys of Harry Boddy and Ted Grace in the Jan/Feb 2107 issue of Hunting and Fishing Collectibles Magazine for additional information. Stand not included. SOLD

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M200: Ernie Meuhlmatt White-Breasted Nuthatch, Dated 1973

Original carving of a 4-1/2" long white-breasted nuthatch by Ernie Muehlmatt of Salisbury, Maryland, dated 1973. Exceptionally fine original paint with great musculature, wing and feather carving and ultra-realistic painted eyes with catch-light. The carving is in mint condition. There is a small hole drilled in the bottom of the bird, presumably to mount the carving in a stationary position during detailed carving and painting. It can only be seen from behind the assemblage. Designed to hang on a wall, the carving is inscribed in ink on the back, "Carved by E.F. Muehlmatt, nuthatch, 4/73". 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. SOLD

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M349: Large Art Peltier Ruffed Grouse Diorama, Circa Mid-1950s

Excellent diorama featuring two ruffed grouse by Arthur J. "Art" Peltier, Sr. (1907-1982), of West Warwick, Rhode Island, circa mid-20th century. Peltier, who carved from the 1940s to the 1970s, was recognized for his dioramas of hand-carved songbirds, waterfowl and upland game birds in natural settings with water color backgrounds. In near-mint original condition, this piece measures 14.5" x 12.5" x 3.25" with a 10.25" x 8.25" glass size. The carved grouse each measure about 3" in length. This is the first diorama of this size and style that I have seen by Peltier. The large majority of his work consisted of approximately 7" x 7" flatter dioramas with bubble glass. This is also the first example I've seen featuring ruffed grouse.

Price: $395.00

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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. SOLD

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D0833: South Jersey Ruddy Turnstone, Circa Late 1800s

Early and rare full-bodied ruddy turnstone decoy in summer plumage, circa late 1800s, from a small hunting rig used in Absecon, New Jersey. The decoy is in original paint protected with remnants of a thin coat of shellac. It retains its original bill which is set in an unusual manner. The bill, which is flattened on the root end like the tip of a flat-head screwdriver, is inserted knife-like into an incision in the face of the decoy. It does extend completely through the head, however. The decoy measures 9.5" from tip of bill to end of tail with a body approximately 3" in diameter. Ruddy turnstones are among the rarest of shorebird decoys. Stand included. SOLD

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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: $350.00

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D0835: Geo. G. Bussey Co. Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 2Q, 20C.

Very nice fat-bodied English wood pigeon decoy with glass eyes and its original inset bill from the Geo. G. Bussey Co., one of London’s premier sporting goods dealers, circa 2nd quarter of the 20th century. Made in two pieces, the lower portion of the breast is laminated to the upper body. Reminiscent in form of the earlier decoys by Trulock and Harris, the Bussey decoys had detailed wing and shoulder carving with raised wing tips and high quality paint in the breeding plumage. The company was founded by George Gibson Bussey (1829 - 1889) around 1860 and remained in business until the late 1940s. They had a large manufacturing facility in Peckham, a district of London, where they made many of the products carried in their stores. It is quite conceivable that these decoys were made by the company at that facility, although the possibility exists that the decoys were made offsite by local craftsmen on a contract basis. The decoy measures just over 14" in length and is approximately 5" wide across the shoulders. It is original condition except for a professional tail repair with touch-up in that area. Stand included. SALE PENDING

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D0838: Unknown English Wood Pigeon Decoy Circa 2Q, 20C

Sleek wood pigeon decoy made of cast and embossed aluminum alloy by an unknown maker from the United Kingdom, circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. The half-bodied shell, open from below, measures 14-3/8" in length and 4" in width. Although the shell measures less than 1/8" in thickness and weighs less than one pound, it is nonetheless rigid and very durable. The decoy is heavily embossed, including raised primaries, a fluted tail and back, scapular and rump feathers. It is in original paint, including painted eyes, showing moderate wear. A flange with threaded receptacle is riveted to the body from below to accept a similarly threaded post for mounting. Although not as elaborate as the aluminum "TRU-ISS" decoys of Trulock and Harriss, the light weight, durability and life-like silhouette of these decoys would have made them popular with gunners. I have seen a modest number of these decoys which influenced the development of the fiber and synthetic shell decoys by Max Baker and others that would eventually be the demise of these decoys and their wooden predecessors. Most likely made in an industrial area such as London or Suffolk by an established metalworking enterprise, these decoys form an important link in the developmental progression of the wood pigeon decoy. Please ee my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their makers for additional information. Stand included. SOLD

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