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Raven’s Way is pleased to offer a Pacific Brant Coast Decoy by Bill Conroy (deceased), Jamestown, Rhode Island, circa 1980. Bill was a major carver in Rhode Island who later moved to Maine and had a shop on the Maine Coast. This particular decoy was carved for Bob Hayden’s Hunting Rig and was Used in California and Mexico. This Solid Body Pacific Style Brant displays Strong Original Paint with Minor Wear from its use as a Gunning Decoy. It has a Well Carved Head and Bill with Glass Eyes, a Strong Profile, and Excellent Form. It is Branded: “W. F. Conroy / Decoys / Jamestown, R.I.” The Decoy Measures 17” in length, 7” in width, and 9 ¾” in height. A Great West Coast Style Decoy Carved on the East Coast by a Great Carver.
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Rare Pair of Pintails by the Oliveros Manufacturing Company (1941 – 1950s), Houston, Texas, circa post-WWII. Oliveros (name is spelled Oliveras in Armstrong discussion) was originally in business with Charles Armstrong with Armstrong Feather Decoys, but Constant Oliveros sold out to Armstrong and started his own company in 1941, making similar decoys of “kapok and cork filled canvas” decoys. (See Ken Trayer’s North American Factory Decoys.) There are subtle differences in both the sewing and the rigging between these two factories and the details of the rigging is especially obvious with these decoys. According to Trayer, these Oliveros decoys were sold as “Duc-Em Zepher Decoys” starting in 1941, and only Mallard, Geese, and Pintails were sold. The Pintails were the least common. This Pair of Pintails reflect Excellent Original Paint and are in Very Good Condition. Measurements: 15” in length, 5 ¼” in width, and 6” in height (the Hen is slightly smaller than the Drake). An Excellent Pair for a Factory Collector.
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Price $325 plus shipping SALE PRICE $200
Black Duck Decoy by Madison Mitchell (1901 – 1993), Havre de Grace, Maryland, circa 1958? Madison Mitchell is considered one of the premier carvers of the Susquehanna Flats/Havre de Grace school of decoy carving. Many of the older Flats carvers like Harry Jobes, Jim Pierce, Clarence Bauer, and others worked in Mitchell’s shop over the years and continued Havre de Grace style. This Black Duck Decoy displays the classic form of Mitchell and has the Excellent Original Scratch Painting that is probably a reflection of Clarence Bauer’s work because of the “CB” scratched on one side of the weight. Bauer worked for Mitchell for over 30 years. This particular decoy is Signed and Dated: “R. Madison Mitchell / Havre de Grace, MD / 1958.” In Very Good Original Condition with Minor In-Use Wear and Fully Rigged, the decoy measures 16 ½” in length, 6 ½” in width, and 8 ½” in height, including the stand.
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A Terrific Lee Dudley Style Full-Sized Ruddy Duck Decoy by Reggie Birch, Chincoteague, Virginia, circa 2012. Lee Dudley was a 19th century carver from Knotts Island, North Carolina, whose decoys are both historical artifacts and amazing pieces of folk art. In 2008, Guyette & Deeter sold an original Dudley Ruddy Duck for $269,000. This Reggie Birch Ruddy Duck displays not only the incredible Dudley Form but also an “aged” patina that gives the decoy the look and feel of a 19th century decoy. One of the things for which Birch is most noted is his work with “patina,” something that he gained from the study of old decoys, but he also has a “feel” for the folk art element of many historic decoys and incorporates that element into his work. The Bottom and the Rigging also suggest the “age” of an Early Working Decoy, but Reggie is always careful to incise his signature “R. Birch” into the bottom to assure the buyer of the decoy’s true origin. Many collectors are simply happy to own a Reggie Birch for the Quality of his Folk Art. The Ruddy measures 11 ½” in length, 5 ½” in width, and 8” in height, including the stand. A Terrific Dudley Style Ruddy.
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