D0957: Joseph Zender Mallard Hen Decoy, Chicago, Illinois, Circa 1930s

Rare and excellent solid-bodied tack-eye mallard hen by Joseph A. Zender (1888-1960), Chicago, Illinois, circa 1930s. Zender, an avid hunter and member of the Peru Gun Club, carved approximately 200 decoys over a 15-year span beginning in 1929. Round-bodied and a bit chunky, his rather distinctive decoys were painted in elaborate feather patterns. This decoy, showing light to moderate wear with some paint rubs and flaking and measuring 14.5" in length, has its head turned nearly 45 degrees to the right and is in highly detailed original paint with light craquelure and two very short and tight shrinkage cracks in the back of the head and neck. Neither crack goes completely through. The carving probably has a faint protective coating of shellac, but if so, it is not visible to the eye. The original weight is still in place. The decoy, possibly made for use on the rougher water of Lake Michigan, also has a poured lead weight that is original to it placed in its bottom for additional ballast. The last photo shows this decoy along with a drake by Zender, not included. See D0956 available separately. SOLD

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D0956: Joseph Zender Mallard Drake Decoy, Chicago, Illinois, Circa 1930s

Excellent solid-bodied, tack-eye mallard drake by Joseph A. Zender (1888-1960), Chicago, Illinois, circa 1930s. Zender, an avid hunter and member of the Peru Gun Club, carved approximately 200 decoys over a 15-year span beginning in 1929. Round-bodied and a bit chunky, his rather distinctive decoys were painted in elaborate feather patterns. This decoy, measuring 15.5" in length, has its head turned roughly 30 degrees to the left and is in highly detailed original paint showing minimal wear with light craquelure and with no structural flaws. It has a faint protective coating of shellac which is visible only on the white areas of the decoy. The original weight is still in place. The decoy, possibly made for use on the rougher water of Lake Michigan, also has a poured led weight that is original to it placed in its back for additional ballast. The last photo shows this decoy along with a rather rare hen by Zender, not included. See D0957 available separately. SOLD

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D0953: Classic Delaware River Black Duck Decoy, John McLoughlin, Circa 1930s

Well-executed classic hollow-bodied Delaware River black duck decoy by John "Mickey" McLoughlin (1911-1985), Bordentown, New Jersey. This is one of Mickey's much-sought-after working decoys, circa 1930s. The decoy has deeply carved raised wing tips and detailed bill carving and is in original scratch-feather paint with minor to moderate wear. Measuring 17 " in length, 6.5" in width and standing 7" high at the head, it was signed on the base by McLoughlin at a later date. SOLD

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D0946: Trulock & Harriss Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1880s

Unusually clean example of a classic wood pigeon decoy from the famous gunsmith firm of Trulock & Harriss, Suffolk, England, circa 1880s. Their decoys are considered to be the premier examples of English wood pigeons known. This example is finely crafted with overall feather carving, checkered breast and throat feathers, deeply carved edging on the wing coverts, carved and raised primaries, a fluted tail, glass eyes and a carved cere at the base of the wooden bill. The softly-blended paint with an excellent patina is strong and original other than some touch up paint on the bill which is also original but has been broken off at the face and skillfully reattached. This is the first and only T&H pigeon I've seen with either a carved cere or wooden bill. The decoy is also somewhat shorter and more slender than their more common examples, measuring 13 1/2" from tip of tail to tip of bill. Nonetheless, it is by the same carver as the majority of the T&H decoys. It is my assumption that it is a very early model whose wooden bill turned out to be too fragile, resulting in the use of the poured lead bills seen in their subsequent decoys. In general, it is more refined in form than most od their pigeons. Perhaps the term, "svelte", is most appropriate. Although who carved these decoys for Trulock and Harriss is not known, a strong argument can be made that the birds were made by the same craftsmen tasked with making the gunstocks for the gunsmith's primary product, perhaps on a seasonal basis or as a filler during slack periods.

Price: $2095.00

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M378: Tom Schroeder Miniature Pheasant Carving, Circa 1940s

Excellent carving of a miniature cock pheasant in the form of a desk caddy or ashtray by Tom Schroeder (1885-1976) of Detroit, Michigan, circa 1940s. The pheasant with wire legs, measuring 5 1/2" from bill to tip of tail, is perched on a 4 1/2" diameter wooden well with felt on the bottom, designed to hold small items such as coins or paper clips. The piece stands 4 1/2” high, including the well base. It is in richly colored original detailed feather paint with a nice patina. The very tip of the bill has been repaired with touch up to the entire bill. There is also a tight crack in the neck of the bird.

Price: $375.00

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M377: Excellent Miniature Pheasant, Circa 1930s

Excellent miniature cock pheasant by an unknown carver, circa 1930s. Carved in a curvilinear form, it measures 5” from tail tip to bill and stands 4” high, including its mahogany base. The carving is in richly colored original detailed feather paint with a nice patina. Paint is chipped from the very tip of the bill, and there is some light flaking of the paint around the neck. There appears to be a price of is a price of $3.50 (?) written on the base in pencil. SOLD

Price: $450.00

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M376: Russ Burr Mini Pheasant Pair, Circa 1930s

Exceptional pair of ringneck pheasants by Russ P. Burr (1887-1955), Hingham, Massachusetts, circa 1930s. Burr was especially well known for his detailed lifelike carving skills, but his painting prowess was less accomplished and often appeared rushed. This pair, however, is contrary to that perception. Not only where the birds skillfully carved, but the paint was expertly applied in a very richly colored, detailed and pleasing feather pattern, expertly capturing the beauty of this species. Other than a small amount of professional touch up to some flaking on the neck of the male, the piece is in original condition. There are also a very few tiny and nearly imperceptible paint chips to high points and edges of the two birds. The male is 4.5" in length while the female is 5" long. Overall, the piece measures roughly 9.5" in width, 3.5" in height and 4.5" in depth. It is stamped "Russ P. Burr, Hingham, Mass." on the bottom of the driftwood base. SOLD

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D0950: Ephraim Hildreth Plover Decoy, Circa 3Q, 19C

Rare solid-bodied plover decoy with painted eyes by Ephraim Hildreth (1835-1915), one of North America's earliest known decoy makers, circa 3rd quarter, 19th century. Hildreth, a farmer, grain dealer and gunner from Rio Grande, just north of Cape May, New Jersey, began making his duck and shorebird decoys prior to the Civil War. His shorebirds, folk art at its best, were known locally as "camel heads" and are recognized for their original and geometric designs with uplifted heads and dropped tails. Measuring 10 1/4" in length, the decoy is in original paint with light wear. The bill may be original but could be an excellent professional replacement. The decoy has been lightly hit by shot, primarily on its right side. Ex-collection, Charlie Hunter III. Stand included.

Price: $2250.00

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