M362: Leo McIntosh Preening Yellowlegs Decoy

Fine carving of a preening "blind" yellowlegs by Leo H. McIntosh (1953 - 2007), Stony Creek Decoys, Woodville, New York, 1990. 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 is done in an antiqued finish with Seaford style “S” shoulder/wing carving. It has raised wing tips, measuring 8” from tail tip to breast, and is in near mint condition with only extremely minor rubs to the wing tips and on the breast (see third and fourth photos). “L. H. McIntosh, 1990, Woodville, N.Y.” is cold-stamped around the stick hole on the bottom of the bird. “Yellow Leg” has been hand lettered on the bottom of the base. SOLD

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D0880: Rare Red-Backed Sandpiper Decoy, Circa Late 1800s

Excellent early and rare full-bodied red-backed or spotted sandpiper decoy, maker and origin unknown, circa late 1800s. Measuring 8-1/2" from the tip of the bill to the end of the tail and approximately 1-3/4" in diameter, it is in original paint and retains what are most likely its original iron legs. The iron bill is a professional replacement. The slight reddish undertone of the paint on the back, along with overall size of the decoy and its bill, suggest that it was intended to be a red-backed sandpiper (dunlin). There are several tight cracks in its head, and the decoy has been lightly hit by shot, otherwise the structural condition is excellent. Rusted remnants of the shanks of tacks or nails which were used as the eyes remain. Stand included. SOLD

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M363: Louisiana Bobwhite Quail, Circa 2 Q, 20 C.

Vintage bob white quail by an unknown maker, carved in approximately one-half scale from a single piece of cypress root, including the base. Although it stands 6.25" tall, it is very lightweight, weighing only 2.5 ounces. The carving was found in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and appears to be circa 2nd quarter, 20th century. Other than some touch up to the legs and bill, the carving is in original paint with a nice patina. The base was broken off just above the feet and at one time and professionally rejoined with the body. A very nice carving showing good age! SOLD

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D0879: Superb 19th Century English Wood Pigeon Decoy

This is the first decoy by this maker that I’ve seen. It’s quite old, perhaps the oldest I’ve been able to document. My best guess is circa 1875. Because the style is so different from anything I’ve seen, I’m presently unable to name a probable area of origin, other than the United Kingdom. Measuring 14” in length and 4” across the shoulders, it is quite sculptural with a high head and an upsloped tail spliced (last photo) into a full and well conformed body. The wing tips are raised and deeply incised while the shoulders are softly carved. Other than for touch up at the professionally replaced bill, the decoy is in original paint with a very light but pleasing craquelure texture in some areas. The red-orange eyes are old and unusual taxidermy eyes. Stand not included. SOLD

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D0877: Bert Graves Mallard Hen Decoy, Circa 2Q, 20C

Hollow-bodied, glass-eyed mallard hen decoy by G. Bert Graves (1880-1956), Peoria, Illinois, circa 2nd Q, 20th C. Graves was named by William F. Mackey, Jr., a foremost decoy historian, as one of the first four of Midwestern (Illinois River) hand decoy makers, along with Charles Walker, Robert Elliston and Charles Perdew. A professional carpenter and boat builder, he went into the production of quality decoys in the mid-1920s, if not sooner, and continued their production until 1944 when he left Peoria for the West Coast. The decoy is in original paint with several small area of flaking and touchup to a small professional tail chip repair. Measuring approximately 17" long, 7" tall, and 6" wide, it is missing the Graves keel weight. SOLD

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M361: Miniature North Carolina Preening Decoy, Circa 2Q, 20C

Rare miniature preening or sleeping duck decoy carving by Charles Caswell "Charlie Mac" McWilliams (1892-1972) of Ocracoke, NC, circa 2nd Q, 20th C. He was a guide at the legendary Green Island Hunting Club before it burned to the ground in 1933. in 1921, the schooner Carroll A. Deering ran aground off Cape Hatteras with all crew members apparently lost. "Charlie Mac" was rumored to have used wood from the shipwreck in making his decoys. Because this cedar example was left unpainted, it is difficult to tell what species it represents; however, as the hunt club was noted for its redheads, Canada geese and brant, I am guessing this miniature may be a redhead. Roughly half scale, it measures 9 1/2" from tail tip to breast and has carved wing outlines. It is signed "C. C. McWilliams, Ocracoke, N. C." on the bottom. McWilliams later was a well known local figure, serving as the mailman in Ocracoke for many years. SOLD

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D0873: Francis Rolph Wood Pigeon Decoy, Circa Early 1Q, 20C

Excellent English wood pigeon decoy attributed to Francis Rolph of Lakenheath, Suffolk, United Kingdom, circa 1900 - 1910. He was the area's largest dealer in all manner of birds and game. After inquiries from customers, he began making decoys as early as 1880, concentrating on pigeon decoys. The body is somewhat rectangular in cross section, reflecting the exclusive use of hand tools in the making of his decoys. Perhaps the nicest example I've seen by this carver, it is lightly used with a pleasing patina. A stylish carving with a separately carved head and glass eyes, it measures 12.75" in length, 3" in width and is almost 4" in depth at the breast. The decoy is somewhat shorter in length than most of Rolph's birds and has a smoothly carved body, lacking the carved wing edges and shoulders normally found on his work, yet it has a noticeably fuller breast. Except for touch-up to and around the bill, which is an excellent and accurate professional replacement, the decoy is in strong original paint depicting the species' fall plumage. Francis was the father of James Rolph, himself a decoy maker, and father-in-law of William Jaggard, another carver, who joined the family business in the early 1930s. James Rolph's decoys are quite similar to those of his father except that the heads are carved as part of the body rather than separately. Stand included. SOLD

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D0871: George Harvey Jersey Coast Scaup Drake Decoy, Circa 1900

Rare early (circa 1900) Jersey Coast hollow-bodied glass-eyed scaup drake in a mixture of original paint, working overpaint and a protective clear coat by George Harvey of Rumson, New Jersey. "Geo. Harvey, Rumson, N.J., 1900" is inscribed on the bottom in black ink along with a museum's inventory number and rubber stamp (a large capital "C", encircling the "M" of "Museum" and an illegible word). The decoy measures 14" in length and 6" in height, There is a 4" x 2" oblong lead pad weight nailed to the bottom. The bill has a tight crack but is stable. SOLD

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