M384: Homer Lawrence/Sally Riffe Lesser Yellowlegs, Circa 3Q, 20C

Outstanding lesser yellowlegs by Homer Lawrence (1889-1968), Norwalk, Connecticut. Lawrence, along with Sally Riffe, created their magnificent sculptures in Lawrence's shop, "Birds in Wood", located on Connnecticut Avenue in S. Norwalk, during the 1950s and early 1960s. Lawrence carved the birds with field-collected examples in hand. Using the same examples, Riffe painted the birds, capturing the true colors and patterns in displays that rival the best works of such masters such as Elmer Crowell, John Dilley and the Ward brothers. As was typical of their work, Homer's name is carved into the base with "S. Riffe" marked in ink below. This yellowlegs, measuring 10.5" in length and standing 11.5" tall, is in incredibly detailed near-mint feather paint. Its head, with high quality glass eyes, is turned sharply to the right, and the bird is standing on one leg. The only "flaws" are a tiny speck of paint missing from the tip of the bill and a very small dent in the tip of the tail. SOLD

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M383: Exceptional Bill Gibian Drop-Wing Curlew, Late 4Q, 20C

Exceptional drop-wing curlew in near-mint condition by William "Bill" Gibian (born 1946), Onancock, Virginia, circa late 4th quarter, 20th century. Originally from New Jersey, Bill been carving full-time after moving to Virginia's Eastern Shore in 1981. His work is often quite animated, as exemplified by this carving with its dropped wing with carved primary and secondary feathers. Measuring 15" from tip of tail to tip of bill, the other wingtip is raised with carved primaries. The well sculpted bill is inserted through the head and splined from the rear. As is expected of his work, the quality of the original paint attests to his standing as one of today's finest painters. Working without patterns, each of his works is an "original". Stand included. SOLD

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D0968: Unknown Yorkshire Wood Pigeon, Circa Late 1800s

Very nice wood pigeon decoy made by an unknown carver from England's Yorkshire area, circa late 1800s. It shares many characteristics with the carvings of Yorkshire's Robert Lange from the same time period, including white glass taxidermy eyes, applied raised wings and a similarly shaped body. More uniquely, the head is narrower than most and the tail flips up slightly at its tip. The original paint is nicely patinated and slightly muted in tone, showing moderate wear. In the field, it did forget to duck once with shot scars on the right wing and breast adding to its allure. The decoy retains its original bill. Stand included.

Price: $935.00

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D0966: Early English Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1900

Early English wood pigeon decoy by an unknown maker, circa late 1800s to early 1900s. A large decoy with only minor wear, measuring 15.5 inches from tip of tail to tip of bill, this glass-eyed carving retains its original bill and is in original paint with a deep brick-red breast and typical white neck patches and wing markings. It has deeply carved wing and shoulder outlines and raised wingtips. This is the first decoy I have seen by this maker although it was most likely produced for the turn of the century retail trade of gunsmiths and sporting goods stores, probably in the London market. Stand included.

Price: $995.00

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M381: Early Miniature Massachusetts Feeding Willet

Miniature feeding willet or yellowlegs, circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. The carving bears a very close resemblance to a feeding willet by Tom Wilson (1863-1940), Ipswich, Massachusetts, pictured on page 21 of "Massachusetts Masters" published by the Ward Museum. This carving has raised and extended wingtips, carved wing outlines, an open bill and small taxidermy glass eyes. The legs are multiple strands of twisted wire. It has apparently been near a fire that somewhat damaged and discolored the paint, making it difficult to tell its true age. SOLD

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D0951: Rare Stephan Badlam Oldsquaw Decoy, Circa 1875

Rare Stephan Badlam (1822-1892) oldsquaw decoy, circa 1875. Badlam, from Dorchester, Massachusetts, came from a family of Boston cabinetmakers. The tack-eyed decoy with carved nostrils and mandible is in original paint with moderate flaking and wear. There are several small spots of touchup on the neck aa well as some old filler on the underside from before the decoy was varnished. The decoy is darkened slightly by an old coat of varnish and is branded "S.B." on the underside where an inlet lead weight is held in place by two hand-wrought nails. It measures 11" in length. Badlam's decoys were unknown to collectors until a rig of seven were featured in Richard Bourne's July 1987 auction. This decoy was Lot No. 94, selling for $3100.00. The consignor's father had purchased them for his own hunting rig from Elizabeth Nichols, Badlam's great niece, in 1948. Jackson Parker, reporting on the auction, wrote that the Badlam decoys raised questions of who made them and when. All bore the block "S.B." brand, similar to one appearing on a table from the Badlam workshop, but were made with differences in form and finish, leading collectors to question whether they were made by the same carver over a period of time or by different carvers from the workshop. Regardless, they will be referred to as Badlam decoys until evidence to the contrary emerges. One of these decoys was pictured on the 1999 Massachusetts Waterfowl Stamp. SOLD

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D0949: Dowitcher Decoy, Theodore Rogers Rig, Jamaica Bay, Circa 1875

Rare and excellent early dowitcher decoy in an unusual wedge shape from the Theodore Rogers rig, Jamaica Bay, Long Island, New York, circa 1875. The 11" long decoy is in strong original paint with very minor wear and retains its original splined bill. It is branded "T. Rogers" on the bottom. Rogers, a banker in New york City, was a member of numerous gunning clubs, including the Jamaica Club, The Bellport Gun Club, the Aldine Club and the Lyndach Club. Ex-collection, Charlie Hunter III. Stand included.

Price: $6775.00

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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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