D0794: Pair of Walter Lowry, Sr., Mallard Decoys, Circa 1930s

Outstanding hollow-bodied mallard pair with glass eyes and detailed bill carving by Walter J. Lowry, Sr., of La Crosse, Wisconsin, circa 1930s. Lowry was a well known and respected banker in La Crosse and across the Midwest. Along with Michael Suhrada of Prairie du Chien, he was one of the most prolific carvers of the Mississippi River Basin, carving over 200 of Wisconsin's finest decoys from the 1920s through the 1940s. This pair, in near-mint original paint showing some yellowing from age, possesses incredibly intricate paint patterns, especially on the hen. The painting on Lowry’s mallard hens is among the best in the country. They are structurally excellent with no splitting , cracking or seam separation. Each decoy measures 16" in length, stands 6" high at the head and is 5-1/2" wide. SOLD

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D0782: Wood Pigeon Decoy From George G. Bussey Co.

Very fine solid-bodied English wood pigeon decoy with orange 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. Reminisient in form of the earlier decoys by Trulock and Harris, the Bussey decoys had detailed wing, shoulder and tail carving with raised wing tips and high quality paint in the breeding plumage. A black and gold sticker with the company's "GGB" logo was affixed to the bottom of the decoys. 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 many of the products carried in their stores were made. 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 14" in length and is approximately 4-3/4" wide across the shoulders. It is in strong detailed original paint with touchup to a 1/2" wide professional repair on the left edge of the tail. The decoy before the repair is shown in the last photo. See my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers for additional information. SOLD

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D0793: Michigan Pintail Drake Decoy, Circa 2nd Q, 20th C.

Very nice solid-bodied pintail drake by an unknown Michigan carver, circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. Carved with a flat bottom and straight sides, the decoy has a well formed and distinctive head with glass eyes and a nicely tapered tail. The neck seat is partially routed into the body so that the back of the neck is inset 1/2" - 3/4" while the front of the neck is flush with the top of the body. The decoy is in original paint and structurally sound except for some flaking of the neck filler. The head remains firmly attached, however. There is part of a sticker on the bottom of the decoy that I assume identified a possible carver. The first three letters of the name are "Rue". It looks like the fourth letter might have been a "P" or a "T". Based on the size of the tag that remains, I'm guessing the rest of the name had 3 to 5 more letters. I haven't been able to find any published information on a carver whose last name starts "Rue", so it could be a misspelling of a name such as "Rupert" or "Reuters". The decoy measures 17-1/2" in length, 6-1/2" in width and is 7-1/2" tall. SOLD

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M335: Leo McIntosh Spotted Sandpiper Shorebird Decoy

Decorative spotted sandpiper by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr. (1953 - 2007), Stony Creek Decoys, Woodville, New York, dated 1986. Recognized as one of the best contemporary decoy carvers before his untimely death, Leo apprenticed with Ken Harris for five years before founding Stony Creek Decoys. The carving is in excellent original feather paint with very slight wear on the wing tips and some extremely tiny flecks of primer showing through on some high points of the body. It has incised and raised primaries and deeply carved shoulders and wing edges. The sandpiper measures 7" in length. The included base reads, "Leo McIntosh, '86". SOLD

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M334: Leo McIntosh Sleeping Red Knot Shorebird Decoy

Decorative red knot by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr. (1953 - 2007), Stony Creek Decoys, Woodville, New York, dated 1987. Recognized as one of the best contemporary decoy carvers before his untimely death, Leo apprenticed with Ken Harris for five years before founding Stony Creek Decoys. The shorebird is carved in a sleeping pose that you don't often see from Leo. It measures just over 5-1/2" from breast to tail and is in near-mint feather paint. It has "sleepy eyes" and incised and slightly raised primaries with deeply carved shoulders and wing edges. The included base reads, "Stony Creek Decoy Co., carvings by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr., Woodville, N.Y., '87". Stand included. SOLD

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D0783: English Wood Pigeon Decoy, Suffolk, UK, Circa 1925

Well executed and stylish decoy by an unknown carver believed to have been from Suffold, circa late 1st quarter to early 2nd quarter, 20th century. The decoy exhibits characteristics compatible with those of William Jaggard, also from Suffolk. The decoy is in original paint with moderate flaking and wear. It has small glass eyes, an unusual upswept tail and deeply carved wings and shoulders particularly reminiscent of Jaggard's decoys. The inset wooden bill is also original and shaped in a similar manner to the lead bills used by Jaggard. The decoy measures 13-1/2" in length and is about3-1/2" wide across the shoulders. Suffolk was home to a number of gunsmiths and gun shops that sold pigeon decoys. It is known that a relatively large number of decoys were made in the area by various carvers to be sold by those concerns. It would not come as a surprise if the characteristics of one carver's work carried over to that of another. See my other website, www.woodpigeondecoys.com, dedicated to the identification and documentation of these decoys and their carvers for additional information. SOLD

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M338: Wilmer Reinbold Miniature Bobwhite Quail Pair

Excellent pair of miniature bobwhite quail by George Wilmer Reinbold (1885-1946), Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, circa 1940. Both the carvings and the original paint are expertly detailed and beautifully accomplished with the latter exhibiting a nice patina. Both quail have detailed wing carving including raised wing tips. The male is unusual in that it has an open beak as if calling. The burl upon which the male is mounted is signed "W. Reinbold". Each quail measures just over 2" bill to tail. The beveled walnut base is 4" in diameter, 1/4" thick and covered with red felt on the underside. Wilmer’s work was represented in the most popular outdoor outfitters, wildlife-themed gift shops and galleries of the day, notably Richard Stockton’s Shop in Bryn Mawr, PA, Caldwell's in Philadelphia and Crossroads of Sport and Abercrombie & Fitch in New York City. His work is highly regarded and much sought after today. Wilmer was the father of noted carver Bill Reinbold of Chestertown, Maryland. SOLD

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D0790: Frank Buchner Redhead Drake Decoy, Circa 1890s

Rare solid-bodied decoy with marble eyes by Frank Buchner (1871 - 1947), Erie, Pennsylvania, circa 1890s. Buchner is the "father" of the Erie school and is recognized as the most prolific and talented carver from the area. It is estimated that he carved between 300 and 500 decoys in a career that spanned nearly 50 years from the 1890s to 1940. Buchner was Chief Engineer of the Erie Sand and Gravel Sand Sucker, a barge-mounted dredging machine that cleared channels for navigation into the bay. His use of artistically inscribed patterns to delineate anatomical areas such as wings, speculums and tails attests to his German-American heritage. One such pattern identifies this decoy as being one of Buchner's oldest carvings from what was called his "heart rig". Jon Deeter and Gene Kangas wrote in Decoy Magazine in Nov/Dec 2008, pages 24 - 29, "It seems logical that the dynamic simplicity of this heart design originated close to the beginning of his carving career, and it's assumed they were made in the 1890s". As that rig was reportedly made up only of bluebills, this decoy in old working paint was repainted by the hunter as a redhead drake. Remnants of the original paint, probably that of a bluebill drake, can be seen where the ballast weight was removed. While the body is sound structurally, there is a crack through the neck. Buchner's decoys earned their reputation among hunters because they worked. Their strong folk art appeal assures their standing among collectors. SOLD

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