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Exceptional Hollow Carved Double-Crested Cormorant Decoy by Reggie Birch, Chincoteague, Virginia / Berlin, Germany, circa 1980s. Reggie is well-known throughout the decoy world for his work as a carver and his place in the development of “contemporary antique” decoy carving, using traditional tools and carefully crafted aging techniques. This particular Hollow Craved Cormorant decoy was designed quite simply as a contemporary carving, reflecting the Characteristics of the Double-crested Cormorant. Form is a critical element of this carving and Reggie uses a Pronounced Head Display, Bold Bill Detail, and Full-Bodied Presentation to offer an Almost Full-sized Presentation the Species’ Character. Measurements: 26” in length, 9 ½” in width, and 9” in height. Paint is intriguing here because the Cormorant is basically seen as “black”, but Reggie has elaborated the Blackish Brown Feather Color with a dark Orange Bill, Greenish Sheen on the side of the Head, Blue-Teal Color of the Eyes, and a Subtle Accenting of the Feather Pattern which is most represented by the carving. It is Signed on the Bottom: Reggie Birch / Chincoteague, VA. Condition: Excellent Original Paint and Form with Minor Spotting on one wing. This Cormorant is one Exceptional Decoy.
(DX811) Click on Photo for larger images. Contact us for additional information. Price $1195 plus shipping
Stylized Pair of Hooded Merganser Decoys by Marty Collins, Bridgewater, Massachusetts, circa Early 2000s. As Rod Taylor points out in Hunting & Fishing Collectibles Magazine, Sept./Oct. 2010, pg. 35, “Today Collins is regarded by many as one of the preeminent carvers in America.” Many, if not most, of Collins’ carving display a strong Massachusetts influence, especially Joe Lincoln and Elmer Crowell. With these Mergansers, Marty displays the ability to take his favorite carvers to the next level with the Collins’ Brand of Decoys. These Decoys show the Rugged Construction of a Gunning Decoy and the Quality Carving of a “Preeminent” Maker. The Bills are Highly Detailed with Separation, Mandible, and Nostril Carving. The Crests are designed with Wood Inserts. The Body offers a Wide Presence a Distinctive Ice Groove behind the Head while the Tails Flare Out like a Hoodie. The Quality Paint Work suggests the Look of the Merganser on the Water, whereas, the Subtle Aging Enhances Use as a Gunning Decoy. Rigged for Use and Displaying an Inserted Weight, the Decoys are Boldly Branded: “M.D. Collins”. Measurements: 13” in length, 6” in width, and 6” in height (the Hen is just a bit smaller). A Great Pair of Hooded Mergansers ready for the Water or the Shelf.
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Price $950 plus shipping
Terrific Hollow Carved Snuggle Head Goldeneye Drake Decoy attributed to Tom Marshall (1903 – 1983), a well-known Connecticut Carver and Duck Hunter, circa Mid- 20th Century. A similar decoy is pictured in Chitwood’s Connecticut Decoys, pg. 109. That decoy with a similar paint pattern is labeled “Working Goldeneye. Designed by Gleason [a CT carver], factory reproduced, and finished for use by Tom Marshall”. It is very possible that a large rig of these birds was made and sold. This Hollow Carved decoy appears to be in Original Paint with Typical Gunning Wear and Some Minor Touchup. Classic Stratford style Weight on Bottom. Good Age. Measurements: 13” in length, 6 ½” in width, and 6” in height (no stand included). Terrific Connecticut Decoy.
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Price $265 plus shipping
Early Eider Drake Decoy by an Unknown Maker from Penobscot Bay, Maine, circa 1900 – 1920. This Hand Chopped Eider displays an Incredible Sculptural Form, with a Raised Breast scalloping down to a Wide Flat Body and Sloping Back Up to a Raised Tail. The Head presents the Classic Inletted Neck which enhances the scalloping form and draws the Head back Closer the Breast. The Maker Initially Chopped out the Body Form and Finished it up with a Draw Knife; the Carved Head was Further Refined with a Rasp to provide Feathering to the Head and Neck. The Early Working Repaint appears to have followed the Original Pattern, creating a Stylized Vision of an Eider on the Water. The White Paint displays a good deal of Craquelure and the “Yellowing” of the Paint suggests that the Decoy was probably covered with a sealer – perhaps linseed oil, a common early sealer – which tends to darken with age. Measurements: 17 ½” in length, 8 ½” in width, and 8” in height. An Early Maine Eider Decoy Ready to Grace a Waiting Shelf.
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