D0848: Important Wood Pigeon Decoy By Mr. Wright, Circa late 1800s

Excellent and historically important early wood pigeon decoy in original condition by Mr. Wright (first name unknown)from the Yorkshire area, circa late 1800s. The decoys from this region encompass some of the earliest and finest ever produced in the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, very little is known about the Yorkshire decoys and carvers. Until this decoy came to light, the only names associated with this area were those of Robert Lange and Robert Sainz. This decoy, however, had the name "Wright" inscribed into the paint under the tail while the paint was still wet, a very strong indication that Mr. Wright was the maker and I shall, in the future, refer to him as such. A solid-bodied decoy with glass eyes, a pronounced breast, a carved mandible and a thickened tail, it measures 12 3/4" in length. I've seen other examples by Wright that had applied wings with raised wingtips, incised feather patterns and fluted tails that I believe are somewhat later than this example. SOLD

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D0845/D0846: Rare Pair of Old Saybrook Wildfowler Green-Winged Teal Decoys, Circa 1939

Highly collectible pair of solid cedar green-winged teal by Old Saybrook Wildfowler of Old Saybrook, CT. As detailed in Wildfowler Decoys by Richard Cowan and Dick LaFountain, the fine-line bill separation and raised neckseats indicate these decoys were made somewhere between 1939 and 1941. Each measuring only 12 1/2" in length, 5" in width and 4 1/2" in height, the decoys are in original paint other than for touchup to two age splits on the drake that have been professionally filled. The first runs the length of the back while the much smaller second crack is to the left of the head. There are similarly located but tighter splits on the hen that have not been filled or touched up. As seen in the last photo, the very tip of the bill of the hen has been slightly blunted. The heads of both are attached to the bodies by means of 1/2" dowels extending through the crowns of the heads to the bases of the decoys. Both birds have an old thin coating of clear sealer such as shellac. Missing the factory keels, the decoys are unstamped. According to knowledgeable Wildfowler collectors, green-winged teal decoys by Wildfowler of this vintage and species are extremely rare with no photos of known examples published. A matched pair is exceptionally desirable. SOLD

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M197: Pair of Tufted Titmice by World Champion Ernie Muehlmatt, Circa 1974

Original carving of a pair of full-sized (5 1/2") tufted titmice in mint condition by Ernie Muehlmatt of Salisbury, Maryland, circa 1974. Exceptionally fine original paint with great musculature, wing and feather carving and ultra-realistic painted eyes. Designed to hang on a wall, the carving is inscribed in ink on the back, "By E.F. Muehlmatt, Titmouse, 11/74". Muehlmatt (1927-2016), three-time Ward World Champion (1979, 1981, 1984), began carving in 1967 and was a master of life-size and miniature decorative wood sculpture, becoming one of the most talented, sought after and popular carvers in wildfowl art. His work can be found in the Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury, Maryland, and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin. He is a Member of the Carvers' Hall of Fame and owned and operated Muehlmatt Studios in Salisbury. SOLD

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M350: Old Saybrook Wildfowler Mallard Decoy Bookends

Pair of mallard bookends by Wildfowler Decoys of Old Saybrook, CT, circa early 1940s. Beautifully carved full-sized heads and breasts (7" high) of a mallard drake and hen mounted on weighted walnut bases with felt backs and bottoms, exhibiting finely-cut nail, mandible and face separations. The hen is in original condition with light paint flaking on the crown of the head and on the bill. The drake is likewise in original paint except that the grey-green area of the shoulder on the left side of the carving has been touched up. There is also light wear to the front edge of the drake's bill. SOLD

Price: $195.00

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M352: Miniature Scaup Drake Decoy, Oscar W. Peterson, Circa 1930

Outstanding 5.75" miniature scaup drake decoy in excellent original paint with very slight craquelure by Oscar W. "Pelee" Peterson of Cadillac, Michigan, circa 1930. A very folky carving with oversized glass eyes, it is is lightly textured and has a thin protective coating of varnish which I believe is original. There are several small paint chips, one on the left side of the neck and another in front of the right speculum. The paint at the tip of the bill is also chipped or worn. Peterson was born in 1887 to Swedish immigrant parents in Grayling, Michigan, before moving to the Cadillac area when he was 8. He spent much of his youth hunting and fishing and later opened a landscaping business with his brother, George. Although it is not exactly known when he started to carve, it is believed that he started around 1900 in order to supplement his income as a landscaper and general handyman. He sold his carvings from his home as well as in many bait shops around the area. Approaching carving as a business, Peterson was extremely prolific, creating more than 15,000 works of art including fish decoys, duck decoys, plaques and other decorative items. Estimates are that around 1,500 to 2,000 of his art form are still in existence. His works are the subject of the book "Michigan's Master Carver: Oscar W. Peterson, 1887-1951" by Ronald J. Fritz and can be found in the American Art Museum of the Smithsonian, the Brooklyn Museum and have also been seen numerous high profile exhibits. SOLD

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M351: Oscar Peterson Miniature Blue-Winged Teal Decoy, Circa 1930

Outstanding 6.5" miniature blue-winged teal hen decoy in near-mint original paint with very slight craquelure by Oscar W. "Pelee" Peterson of Cadillac, Michigan, circa 1930. A very folky carving with oversized glass eyes, it is is lightly textured and has a thin protective coating of varnish which I believe is original. The initials "TWO" are written on the bottom. Peterson was born in 1887 to Swedish immigrant parents in Grayling, Michigan, before moving to the Cadillac area when he was 8. He spent much of his youth hunting and fishing and later opened a landscaping business with his brother, George. Although it is not exactly known when he started to carve, it is believed that he started around 1900 in order to supplement his income as a landscaper and general handyman. He sold his carvings from his home as well as in many bait shops around the area. Approaching carving as a business, Peterson was extremely prolific, creating more than 15,000 works of art including fish decoys, duck decoys, plaques and other decorative items. Estimates are that around 1,500 to 2,000 of his art form are still in existence. His works are the subject of the book "Michigan's Master Carver: Oscar W. Peterson, 1887-1951" by Ronald J. Fritz and can be found in the American Art Museum of the Smithsonian, the Brooklyn Museum and have also been seen numerous high profile exhibits. SOLD

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D0843: Leo McIntoshWidgeon Drake Dated 1987

Fine carving of a widgeon drake by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr. (1953 - 2007), Stony Creek Decoys, Woodville, New York. 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. This widgeon is in near-mint vermiculated feather paint with only a small paint fleck off an underedge of the bill and a slight rub to the tip of the tail. Its head, with high quality glass eyes, is turned about 15 degrees to the left. The bird exhibits relief wing and shoulder carving with carved primaries, raised wing tips, a fluted tail, well-developed body musculature and a nicely detailed bill. The carving measures 14" in length and is 5" high at the head. The bottom of the decoy is signed and dated "Stony Creek Decoys by Leo H. McIntosh, Jr. '87". SOLD

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D0839: Ted Grace Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa 1951

Excellent solid-bodied English wood pigeon decoy by Edward Arthur "Ted" Grace, Walderslade, Kent, United Kingdom, circa 1951. The bird, painted in fall plumage, is in well-blended and detailed original feather paint with a nice patina and and only minor wear. A very well-formed bird, it has screw eyes set in separate shoe eyelets to simulate eye rings, a cast metal bill and relief carved shoulders. Grace purchased Harry Boddy's decoy business in 1951, worked at it full time until 1957 and continued part time until 1977. He made only minor changes that can make the decoys by the two men difficult to distinguish between. This decoy has a longer neck and more narrow head than did those made by Boddy, but the head and neck are not as long and slender as seen in Grace's later decoys. His decoys were also painted with more finesse and a lighter palette than those by Boddy. The last photo shows a pigeon by Boddy on the left, a later decoy by Grace with the more slender and extended neck and head on the right and this decoy in the center. Grace's more fluid and blended brush work as compared to Boddy's can also be seen in this last photo. It measures 14.5" in length and 4" in width. Please see my article on the decoys of Harry Boddy and Ted Grace in the Jan/Feb 2107 issue of Hunting and Fishing Collectibles Magazine for additional information. Stand not included. SOLD

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