D0905: Mason Factory Blue-Winged Teal Decoy, Circa 1910

Nice Standard Grade glass-eyed blue-winged teal drake by the Mason Factory, Detroit, Michigan, circa 1910. The decoy is in original paint showing moderate flaking and wear. There is a hairline age split in the back and a wider one with factory-applied filler in the bottom. The neck filler has been professionally replaced with touch-up to that area (See last two photos). SOLD

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D0906: New Jersey Black-Bellied Plover Decoy, Circa 1900

Black-bellied plover by an unknown New Jersey maker, circa 1900. The decoy is a nice full-bodied bird in dry original paint showing average in-use wear with some light flaking. It measures 11’ in length from the tip of the bill to the tail. There is a thin crack in the neck, but it is quite stable. As seen in the last three photos, there is a chip on the right side of the head where the face meets the bill, but the bill itself is original and undamaged. Stand included. SOLD

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M367: Early Black Duck Wall Plaque, Bebe MacDonald, Quebec

Excellent folk art wall plaque featuring a half-bodied black duck decoy by Alain de Lotbiniere (Bebe) MacDonald (1886-1961), circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. MacDonald was from Rigaud in southwestern Quebec, near Montreal. He is recognized as an important Quebec artist and carver, not only for the quantity and quality of his work, but also for his influence on other craftsmen. After serving in the Canadian army during WWI, Bebe worked for Robin Last Shoe Factory before opening studios in Rigaud and Montreal. He made fine and highly sought-after decoys as well as his folk art wall plaques and was known for his meticulous decoy heads and precision in painting, both of which characteristics are on display in this plaque. Set on a textured background with marsh grass, the piece, done in MacDonald's most desirable style, is in excellent original paint. The glass-eyed black duck has a scratch-painted head with highly detailed bill carving, a raised wing with carved primaries and a fluted tail. It projects out from the background 1 1/4". Although darkened by age, the elaborate feather paint on the body is still visible. The carving is set in a lightly worn frame measuring 7 3/4" x 6 1/2" with the duck itself being approximately 6 1/4" in length and 3 1/2" in height. Formerly in ther collection of Samuel H. "Sam" Dyke, it is inscribed on the back, "For my son, Samuel H. Dyke. This was the property of Mr. Dwight L. Armstrong who died 9/10/1944. Given to me 10/20/1980. S. E. Dyke". Sam Dyke was one of the founding fathers of the Ward Museum and was a former Chairman of the Museum's Board of Directors. SOLD.

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D0859: James Rolph Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1Q, 20 C

Excellent English wood pigeon decoy by James Rolph, Elveden, Suffolk, United Kingdom, circa 1st quarter, 20th century. The decoy is in strong original paint with a pleasing patina with light wear and a smattering of pinpoint worm (now deceased!) holes. It has glass eyes and carved shoulders and wings outlines. Te bill is an excellent and accurate professional replacement by Russ Allen. Painted in the specie's fall plumage, the full-bodied bird measures about 15" in length, 4" in width and 4" in depth at the breast. Rolph carved from roughly 1910 until the 1930s. This is an early example of Rolph’s work, made prior to the end of WWI when Rolph acquired a bandsaw for cutting out the rough decoy. Rolph was the son of Francis Rolph, himself a decoy maker, and the father-in-law of William Jaggard who joined the family business in the early 1930s. One of James's decoys, unidentified as to maker, can be found in the Guyette/Sotheby catalog of Dr. Jim McCleery's collection (Lot 559, Jan 2000). Another, again unidentified, is pictured in Plate 54 of Joel Barber's "Wild Fowl Decoys". SOLD

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M368: Leo McIntosh Fish Decoy, Circa 1990s

Excellent fish decoy by Leo H. McIntosh (1953 - 2007), Stony Creek Decoys, Woodville, New York, circa 1990s. Recognized as one of the best contemporary carvers before his untimely death, Leo apprenticed with Ken Harris for five years before founding Stony Creek Decoys. The decoy, done in the style of master carver Oscar Peterson of Cadillac, Michigan, has a carved mouth and gills and inserted tin fins. Although I am not certain, I believe the eyes are carved. Measuring 8” in length, the carving is in near-mint condition with a very detailed paint pattern. I believe it was intended as a yellow perch. “McIntosh" is incised under the head of the fish. SOLD

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M366: Bobwhite Quail Pair, Joe Ahearn, Circa 1940s

Fine pair of bobwhite quail (male and female) by James Joseph "Joe” Ahearn (1904-1963), Stamford, CT, circa 1940s. An excellent effort, these roughly half-scale carving measure 7.25" in length (tip of bill to tip of tail) and 7” in height including the birch branches they are perched on. The carvings are in excellent original condition with highly detailed feather paint, glass eyes and wire legs with lead feet. They are each in excellent structural condition. Each is signed on the beveled end of oneof the birch branches. Ahearn became well-known in the mid-1940's as a carver of miniatures. It is unclear when he began carving them although it is presumed that he started in the late 1930's, if not sooner. When 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. SOLD

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D0897/D0898: Don Gearhart Green-Winged Teal Pair, Circa 1931-1932

Excellent glass-eyed green-winged teal pair by Donald R. Gearhart (1900 - 1987), Tulsa, Oklahoma, circa 1931-1932. The drake is in lightly worn, well-executed original feather paint exhibiting a pleasing patina. It has deeply carved wings with raised wingtips, a slender neck and high head turned slightly to the left. Its "face mask" is incised as are the specula and tail feathers. There is a crack through the neck that was reglued many years ago and remains stable as well as some "puppy chew" to the tip of the bill. The hen is in excellent structural condition with lightly worn, well-executed patinated original feather paint. It, too, has deeply carved wings with incised specula and tail feathers. These carvings, known for their small size as "pocket teal", measure 10 1/2" in length, 5 1/4" height and 4 1/4" in width. The keel is missing on both. They are inscribed on the bottom in Gearhart's hand, "J. H. Abbott, McPherson, Kansas". Abbott was apparently a friend, business associate or hunting companion for whom Gearhart made the decoy. Gearhart was a senior executive with the Sinclair Oil Company. His decoys were slightly undersized, designed for use in the marshes of Louisiana. Please see Decoy Magazine, Jul/Aug 2013, for an excellent article by Gene Kangas on Gearhart and his work. SOLD

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D0899: Ted Grace Content Green-Winged Teal Decoy

Excellent solid-bodied green-winged teal drake carved in the low-head "content" position by Edward Arthur "Ted" Grace (1914-1985), Walderslade, Kent, United Kingdom, circa mid-1950s. This glass-eyed teal is in nicely blended and stippled feather paint with only minor wear. It measures 11" in length, 5" in width and 3-1/2" in height. Grace was mentored by his neighbor, Henry Ernest "Harry" Boddy. After a short apprenticeship, Grace purchased the decoy business in 1951, continuing to make wood pigeon and waterfowl decoys full time until 1957 and part time until 1977. Between the two men, they might well have been England's most prolific carvers. SOLD

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