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Incredible 9 ½” Open Mouth Perch Ice Spear Fishing Decoy by Floyd Joseph “Red” Bruce (1934 – 2013), Gaylord, Michigan, circa 1982/3.” Floyd Bruce has quite a history both as a designer of specialty tools in the automotive industry and as a fish decoy carver. For an extensive discussion of Bruce, see Gary Miller’s article in “Decoypedia”, 2005, on the Internet. Most of Bruce’s later fish decoys were carved from white cedar, painted with water-based paints, and finished with a coat of varnish to waterproof them. Bruce obviously put considerable effect into his decoys. The Details of the Open Mouth, Gill Carving, Glass Eyes, and a Very Elaborate Wood Carved Tail are further enhanced by the Use of Metal and Copper Fins, and a Highly Realistic Paint Pattern. While Bruce’s Method for identifying his decoys changed over time, in this case the Perch is Signed “F. Joseph Bruce”, Branded “FB”, Dated “82/3” (date somewhat unclear), and Marked with “XXX”, the Xs meaning according to Gary Miller, “Tested & Guaranteed”. The Fish best represents itself in the photographs. No Stand is Included. This Perch Spearing Decoy in Total Original Condition is a Prime Example of a Michigan Spearing Decoy.
(FD606) Click on Photo for larger images. Contact us for additional information.
Price $250 plus shipping
Sleek 6” “Herring” Ice Spear Fishing Decoy by an Unknown Michigan Maker, circa 1930s – 1940s. This super Fish Decoy has a wood Tail with a Slight Turn and a Carved Mouth, Very Early Tin Fins, an Eye Screw Tie Line, and an Original White Paint Pattern with Red Accents. This Fish displays Age from Use and is an Excellent Example of a Simple but Early Fish Decoy. Please note that no stand is included. This fish has been in our collection since 1995 purchase from a Michigan Collector.
(FD593) Click on Photo for larger images. Contact us for additional information.
Price $95 plus shipping
Terrific 9” Red and White Ice Spear Fishing Decoy by Louie Leech (1905-1982), Fairmont, Minnesota, circa 1950s-1960s. Leech made fish decoys from the 1950s to the end of his life, once he realized the demand for decoys that created real success. Using primarily a Red and White pattern, Leech would sprinkle glitter on his decoys which cause them to reflect light in the water. His earlier fish had White or Yellow Bead Eyes; whereas, his later decoys had tack eyes. Leech also stamped “LL’ on the bottom of his fish, more frequently on the later fish. This particular fish displays all the Classic Characteristics of Louie Leach Fish Decoys: A Red & White Pattern, Sprinkled Glitter Finish, Yellow Bead Eyes, and the “LL” Stamped on the Bottom. See Donald Petersen’s Folk Art Fish Decoy for information on Louie Leech. No Stand Included. Outstanding Example of a Virtually Mint Leech Fish Decoy.
(FD582) Click on Photo for larger images. Contact us for additional information.
Price $85 plus shipping
Terrific Little 5” Ice Spearing Fish Decoy attributed by Art Kimball to a Minnesota Carver “Mr. Orpin, circa 1950s” See Kimballs’ The Fish Decoy, Vol III, pg.106. I bought this fish back in the 1990s from Art and merely added it to my collection. After some considerable research, I was not able to identify “Mr. Orpin”, but I believe now that this was a simple misspelling. I’ll hazard the guess that these fish decoys were made by Clarence J. Orpen (1927 – 2019), Austin, Minnesota, who along with his wife, owned a cabin which they regularly enjoyed on Mille Lacs Lake where ice fishing is still common today. (If anyone has any additional information, I would appreciate hearing from you.) This Fish Decoy displays Strong Original Paint with Wear from Use, especially on the Fins and Bottom. It displays the Basic Form of the six fish in the Kimballs’ book with a Carved Wood Tail with a Slight Curve and Open Mouth Carving. The Tie Line is a Wire Insert rather than an Eye Screw and the Weight creates a quite heavy fish. No Stand Included. A Fascinating Minnesota Fish Decoy.
(FD592) Click on Photo for larger images. Contact us for additional information.
Price $125 plus shipping
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