M380: Exceptional Miniature Pheasant, Joe Ahearn, Circa 1950

Near mint miniature cock pheasant by James Joseph "Joe" Ahearn, Stamford, CT, circa 1950. A striking combination of age and patina, this 9" carving is in vibrant and highly detailed original feather paint with glass eyes and wire legs with lead feet The pheasant measures 9" in length (tip of bill to tip of tail) and 6-1/2" in height including the birch log stand it is perched on. It is in excellent structural condition with no damage or repairs. It is unclear when Ahearn began carving 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. It is pictured in the foreground of the final photo with a half-scale pheasant by Ahearn (M325, not included but available separately) behind it.

Price: $650.00

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D0962: Robert Lange Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1890s

Very nice wood pigeon decoy by Robert Lange, Yorkshire, UK, circa 1890s. Lange's decoys were limited in production and are some of the finest early decoys the UK has to offer. This example is his slick-sided model with no wing or shoulder carving. Exhibiting an excellent patina, it is in strong original paint showing only minor wear with mottled breast, neatly scalloped neck patches and fluid but precisely applied wing markings. A solid-bodied decoy with high quality glass eyes, it measures 12" in length and is roughly 3" thick. There is a chip missing on the tail, and the bill is a professional replacement. Stand included.

Price: $795.00

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D0961: Unusual “Flapping” Black-Bellied Plover Decoy

Unusual “flapping" black-bellied plover mechanical decoy by an unknown maker, probably New England area. Measuring 11" from tip of bill to tip of tail, the decoy is in weathered original paint with light flaking and retains its original bill. A tug on the string by the hunter caused the wire framework to rotate around a fulcrum pegged through the decoy's shoulders, raising and lowering the leather wings, thus adding a realistic motion to a rig of decoys. Stand included.

Price: $695.00

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D0958: Grainger McKoy (Sumter, S.C.) Canvasback Drake Decoy, Dated 1967

Hollow canvasback drake decoy with painted eyes by noted carver and sculptor Grainger McKoy, Sumter, South Carolina, signed and dated. McKoy is recognized as one of America's foremost wildlife sculptors. He has been honored with exhibitions at major museums an galleries and his work is included in public and private collections throughout the country. This decoys an early work by McKoy, carved while he was a student at Clemson University in 1967. It is made from three laminations, measuring 13 1/2" in length, 6" in width and standing 7 1/2" tall at the head. It is in excellent structural condition with the wing tips are carved in outline. The original paint is highly detailed, showing only minor wear. Also included is a copy of "The Sculpture of Grainger McKoy" (James Kilgo, 1999, 64 pages, softcover) signed by McKoy. SOLD

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D0955: Swimming Canada Goose Decoy, Probably New Jersey

Very nice hollow-bodied swimming Canada goose decoy by an unknown carver from the mid-Atlantic region (probably New Jersey), circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. The body of the decoy was roughed out and finished by spoke shave with the facets of the cuts remaining visible. The decoy appears to have seen little use, but there is separation at the seam of the body and bottom board. It is in original paint other than for touchup at the around the neck seat. Measuring 27" in length, it is a rigmate to D0954 listed and available separately. SOLD

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D0960: Exceptional Robert Lange English Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1900

Exceptional English wood pigeon decoy by Robert Lange, Yorkshire, UK, circa late 1800s to early 1900s. These decoys were limited in production and are some of the finest early decoys the UK has to offer. This decoy is carved in Lange's finest style with extended split wing tips, deeply carved wings and shoulders and a full breast. Exhibiting an excellent patina, it is in excellent original paint showing only minor wear with mottled breast, neatly scalloped neck patches and fluid but precisely applied wing markings.. A solid-bodied decoy with high quality glass eyes, it measures 13" in length and is roughly 3.5" thick. Retaining its original bill, it has been lightly hit by shot and has a tight crack it its tail. One would be hard pressed to find a finer example by this important maker. Stand included.

Price: $1325.00

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D0954: Unknown Mid-Atlantic Region Preening Canada Goose, Circa 2Q, 20C

Very nice hollow-bodied preening Canada goose decoy by an unknown carver from the mid-Atlantic region (probably New Jersey), circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. The body of the decoy was roughed out and finished by spoke shave with the facets of the cuts remaining visible. The decoy appears to have seen little use, but there is separation at the seam of the body and bottom board. It is in original paint other than for touchup at the junction of the head and body. Measuring 21" in length, it is a rigmate to D0955 listed and available separately. SOLD

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M379: Exceptional Great Horned Owl Decoy, Circa Mid-20th Century

Exceptional great horned owl decoy by an unknown carver, circa mid-20th century. Probably influenced by Herter's popular owls of the mid-1940s to mid-1950s but made from cedar rather than balsa, this fine example has deeply carved wing and shoulder outlines, a claw beak, leather ears and glass eyes. A large decoy (20" high, 9" wide, 6" deep and weighing 7 pounds) showing only light wear, it is in original feather paint with no repairs or touch up. There is a mounting plate attached under the legs as this decoy was made for the field, not the mantle. There is a sticker on the back of the decoy attesting to the inclusion of this fine carving in an auction conducted by Richard Oliver in the 1980s or early 1990s. Owl decoys were used by hunters to bring crows, their mortal enemies, into shotgun range. Stand included. SOLD

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