D0925: Unknown Wood Pigeon Decoy, Suffolk, UK, Circa Mid 20C

One of a striking rig of decoys by an unknown carver, circa late 2nd to early 3rd quarter of the 20th century. They were found in and are possibly from Suffolk, UK. The carver made these decoys in a number of different poses and sizes, leading me to the conclusion that they were made without pattern. I had originally thought that these decoys were made by a hunter for his own use, but I‘ve now seen enough examples to suggest that they could be a small volume commercial product. While each individual example is exemplary in its own right, a grouping in various poses produces a synergistic effort of great appeal. The bills on these decoys were crafted from nylon or a similar synthetic material rather than wood or cast metal. Unfortunately, the material proved to be rather brittle, resulting in breakage and replacement as is the case with this example. Measuring 15” in length, it is in original paint that has developed a very pleasing patina. SOLD

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D0926: Unknown Wood Pigeon Decoy, Mid-20th Century

Very well done fat-bodied English wood pigeon decoy from the London area, circa late 2nd quarter to early 3rd quarter, 20th century. Most unusually, it is of six-piece construction. The body is made of four vertical laminations, two at the body’s center and one for each raised-tip wing with carved shoulders. The glass-eyed head and neck are formed from a fifth piece attached at the breast while the tail is an inserted sixth piece. Also unusual is the carving of nostril ceres, the soft, fleshy patches at the base of the upper side of the bill. Overall, the decoy is structurally sound with no separation of the pieces comprising the whole. The decoy is in strong original polychrome paint showing minimal soiling or wear. Stand included. SOLD

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D0920: Gene Hendrickson Old Squaw Decoy, Circa Mid-20C

Very nice hollow-bodied old squaw drake with tack eyes by Joseph Eugene "Gene" Hendrickson (1896-1971), Northfield, New Jersey, circa mid-twentieth century. The decoy, which has never been rigged, is in dry original paint showing only very light soiling. There is a very slight separation to the body seam with some paint loss in that area. Hendrickson used an insetted bottom weight in the same manner as Harry V. Shourds. His initials, JEH, are stamped into the weight. In addition to being a professional decoy maker, Hendrickson, who began carving decoys circa 1920, was also an accomplished sneakbox builder and carpenter. SOLD

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D0077: Bluebill Drake Decoy, Ontario or Michigan, Circa 3Q, 20C

Very nice bluebill drake from southwestern Ontario or Michigan , circa 3rd quarter, 20th century. Other than for a tight age split in the bottom, it is in near-mint original condition. Showing the influence of Ben Schmidt and Ken Anger among others from this area, this glass-eyed decoy exhibits heavy overall texturing and rasping, incised wing outlines, deeply carved side pockets, a fluted tail and detailed bill carving. The decoy measures 13.5" in length, 7" in width and stands 3" and 5.5" high at the back and head, respectively. The encircled initials "DS", presumably those of the maker, are stamped into the bottom. SOLD

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D0076: Sleeping Bluebill Hen Decoy, Ontario or Michigan, Circa 3Q, 20C

Well executed sleeping bluebill hen from southwestern Ontario or Michigan , circa 3rd quarter, 20th century. It is in near-mint original condition. Showing the influence of Ben Schmidt and Ken Anger among others from this area, this plump-bodied hen with glass eyes exhibits heavy overall rasping, incised wing outlines, deeply carved side pockets and a fluted tail. The decoy measures 13.5" in length, 7.5" in width and stands 4" and 6" high at the back and head, respectively. The encircled initials "DS", presumably those of the maker, are stamped into the bottom. SOLD

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D0923: Early Feeding Scottish Wood Pigeon Decoy

Very sculpturesque tucked-head feeding wood pigeon decoy with painted eyes by an unknown carver, circa early 1900s. This decoy, along with a rigmate, was found outside of Perth, Scotland, where it was hunted along the River Tay. There is a professional repair to the left wing tip, stretching diagonally across the last two inches of the wing with touch up to that area. Otherwise, the decoy is in well patinated original paint and retains its original bill. There are several age splits in the head and upper back, one of which was strengthened by the addition of two small nails, presumably when the decoy was made. The decoy is unusually large with a length of almost 16" and has a hollow recess drilled and chiseled into its belly, probably to reduce its weight. While most wood pigeon decoys were made in England itself, pigeons were and are hunted in Scotland as well, and it is very possible that this decoy and its mate were made by a heretofore unknown but very talented Scottish carver. SOLD

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D0912: Phil Jones Canada Goose Decoy, Circa 1950s

Very nice lesser Canada or cackling goose decoy by Phil Jones of Bellingham, Washington. In original condition, the decoy is hollow and appears to be constructed from some kind of fabric applied over a wooden framework and then coated with fiberglass. Think of a George Boyd canvas-covered Canada goose encapsulated in a protective coating of fiberglass. Jones worked for Inflite Boat Works, a company founded in Bellingham in 1957, that originally made small fiberglass boats. Apparently, Jones made this decoy in the late 50s to early 60s using the construction skills learned at the boat works. A small decoy, it only measures about 20” in length, 7.5” in width and stands about 8” high at the head. There is a wooden bottom board concealed under the fiberglass and fabric coating. A wooden head is covered in the same manner. As for the body, I can’t tell whether it was molded over a removable and reusable form or over a skeletal framework that remains in place. From their weight (only about 1 lb, 12 oz each), I’m thinking molded. As for the “paint”, I believe it is very possible that the fiberglass itself was colorized and “painted” on, although the detailed feather paint may have been applied before the fiberglass was applied. It is also possible that both techniques were used to achieve the original finish. The raised and crossed wingtips have a bit of flex to them and appear to have been made using very thin wooden lathe as a base. A very durable and serviceable decoy! SOLD

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D0911: Midwestern Canada Goose

One honkin' big Canada goose field decoy with glass eyes by an unknown Midwestern maker (possibly Wisconsin), circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. Carved in the high-head "sentinel" posture and measuring 27" in overall length with a 2-piece laminated balsa body and 2-piece hardwood head/neck, it stands 15" tall at the head. The decoy, exhibiting moderate flaking and wear, has detailed bill carving and raised, crossed wing tips. Two metal straps are attached to the underside to allow the attachment of legs for lifelike placement of the decoy in the field. Other than a second coat of paint applied to the white areas, the decoy is in mostly original paint with detailed feathering on the sides and back. SOLD

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