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6 ½”+ Ice Spear Fishing Decoy by Claude “Cloudy” Hoeschen (1926 – 2007), Freeport, Minnesota, circa 1960s – 1970s. When Donald Petersen wrote Folk Art Fish Decoys, a book on Minnesota decoys, in 1996, there was no mention of Claude Hoeschen. But, by 2018, Petersen had obtained some of his decoys and researched the maker, allowing him an article in Hunting & Fishing Collectibles Magazine. By that time Raven’s Way had also acquired some Hoeschen fish and added to Petersen’s article in later issue. Hoeschen is a fascinating person who was considered a “legendary trapper, hunter and fisherman”. The fish offered here is a classic Hoeschen decoy: the Carving displays carved mouth and gills which tend to feature a “smiling” face, the Pectoral Fins are the same on all his decoys with look of a “jet wing” (here, interestingly, Claude has added additional lead to the fins to further weight the decoy), and the Tail is invariably flush with the bottom. The Strong Original Paint of this fish indicates that Hoeschen’s fish are Dark on Top, Light on Bottom and with a single spot for the eye. Once a Hoeschen fish is handled, a little study will provide the model for any found in the future. No Stand Included. A photo of this fish can be found on pg. 55 of the Sept./Oct. issue of H&FCM.

(FD624)  Click on Photo for larger images. Contact us for additional information.

Price $165 plus shipping

Very Appealing 12 ¾” Ice Spear Fishing Decoy by Marcel Meloche, Cochrane, Ontario, Canada, circa 1991. Meloche is a well-known World Champion Fish Carver who comes from a long line of traditional carvers. He has been carving since the 1970s and continuingly works to further refine his work. This Rare Walleye displays an Outstanding Paint Pattern of the Fish in the water. In addition, Meloche has carved the Mouth, Gills and Tail Fins in Fine Detail, accented with Glass Eyes. The Metal Fins also display a Fine Degree of Color Shading. In Excellent Original Condition, with Meloche’s Brand and Date on the Bottom. (There is a small spot to the paint by the eye screw.) No Stand Included. A Very Appealing Spear Fishing Walleye by Marcel Meloche.

(FD627)  Click on Photo for larger images. Contact us for additional information.


Splendid 8” Musky Ice Spear Fishing Decoy with Jig Stick by John V. Snow (1932 – 2010), Luc du Flambeau – Ojibwe -, Wisconsin, circa 1990s. Native American fish decoys as represented by John Snow are considered to be a part of an historical functional Ojibwe sculpture. Snow’s more colorful decoys were designed for use in darker waters and had a bold White Underside. Recognizing the importance of Native American fish decoys, Snow helped bring the functional value of spear fishing decoy into the arena of Folk Art collectibles. This Musky is in Excellent Original Condition; Signed “John V. Snow: on the end of the tail and “Wahzhashk” (his Native American name) on the bottom side. The Jig Stick is approximately 11” in length and Original to the decoy. No stand included. An Outstanding Native American Fish Decoy. A copy of an article from the Wisconsin Historical Society feathering John Snow, the historical activity of spear fishing, and a similar fish is included with the sale.

(FD629) Click on Photo for larger images. Contact us for additional information.  SOLD

Top-of-the-Line 14” Crayfish Ice Spear Fishing Decoy by Gerald Finch (1932 – 2015), Afton, Michigan, circa 1998. Finch’s obituary indicates that he was a quality finish carpenter and a skilled wood carver of fish decoys. This Fish Decoy represents Finch’s ability as a creative carver producing a decoy of rare type with a great deal of ingenuity. It is exceptionally well carved and deliberately designed and weighted for use. Though presented as a “critter” for ice spear fishing, it was clearly created for the collector’s market and comes from a Michigan collection. It is in Excellent Original Condition and Exceptionally Appealing.

(FD631)  Click on Photo for larger images. Contact us for additional information.  

Price $245 plus shipping


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