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A Finely Carved and Painted 9” Spawning Male Coho Salmon Ice Spear Fishing Decoy by Rick Whittier, Lidgerwood, North Dakota. Many may not be aware that North Dakota does have an ice spear fishing season and they take some big ones. The Carving on this Fish is Exceptional with the Open Mouth, Gills, Dorsal Fin and Tail Fin, and Body done with Wood. The Ventral, Pectoral and Anal Fins are done with Tin, and the Eyes are either glass or a high-grade plastic. The Tail is Curved to allow for a circular movement in the water. The Paint work is outstanding and enhances the character of the fish. This 2006 Fish which is Signed by Whittier displays a smoother body finish than most of his later fish and a Sleeker Form is the outcome. Moreover, Whittier has moved his Eye Screw toward the front for more effective spearing action in more contemporary examples. This appears as more of a Collector’s item. Base is included if desired.

(FD591)   Click on Photo for larger images. Contact us for additional information.

Price $95 plus shipping  


Raven’s Way is pleased to offer an Extremely Rare "Minnow” Ice Spear Fishing Decoy by John Motherway, an elusive maker believed to be from Hibbing or Iron Mountain, Minnesota, carving circa 1930s – 1940s. Motherway is also believed to be a Chippewa from one of the reservations in the area. While we have only obtained 2 or 3 of Motherway’s decoys over time, this Minnow Decoy is the rarest Motherway we have owned. This is a Finely Made Decoy in Original Paint with the Classic Black Eyes he always painted on his decoys. It measures 4 ½” in length and clearly qualifies as a Minnow. This particular fish was obtained from Art Kimball back in the 1990s and has been in our collection ever since. No Stand Included. The Form and Quality of John Motherway’s Fish Decoys are an Important Part of Minnesota Fish Decoy History.

(FD576)  Click on Photo for larger images. Contact us for additional information.



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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