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Very Appealing Hollow Carved Golden Plover Shorebird Decoy by Charles F. Coffin (1835 – 1919), Nantucket, Massachusetts, circa 1870. Coffin Plovers are highly desirable among the Shorebird Collecting Community. This Decoy in Spring Plumage is made in three parts, a two-part Hollow Carved Body and an Attached Head with a Wide Neck. The Strong Original Paint, though worn in places, displays the Detail the Coffin applied to his Paint Pattern. The Head Form is further advanced by the Tack Eyes and Plover Bill Form. Both the Head and the Body show Shrinkage from Age and Use, typical of Coffin’s Shorebird decoys. There is a Black area of potential restoration on one side of the head (see photos) which appears to have been done in the making, and the decoy has some form of later finish which “hides” some shot marks; whereas, others are apparent. The Bill also appears to be Original. (X-rays are available for a serious buyer.) Measurements: 8 ½” in length, 2 ½” in width, and 12” in height, including the stand. A Wonderful Early Golden Plover from Nantucket.

(DX394)  Click on Photo for larger images. Contact us for additional information.

Price $6750 plus shipping


Classic Greater Yellowlegs Flattie Shorebird Decoy from New England, circa 1920s. Many people believe that shorebird hunting came to an end with the Migratory Bird Treaty of 1918 which ended commercial shorebird hunting. However, Large Plovers and Yellowlegs hunting was still allowed until 1928, when all shorebird hunting became illegal. Unfortunately, that time period brought us to the Depression era, and the shores were not highly populated at that time so many hunters still shot shorebirds to feed their families. That history aside, this Yellowlegs Flattie was typical of decoys that were quickly made and ready to use in the field. This decoy still displays Strong Original Paint, an Original Bill, and a Carrying Hole to help with other birds in the rig. Attesting to its use are a Few Small Shot Holes, Wear to the Paint Eye on one side, and Very Minor Wear to the Paint. The Decoy is 12 ½” in length, 1” in width, and 13 ¼” in height. A Fine Example of the Flattie Style Yellowlegs Decoys used in the 1920s – 1930s.

(DX390)   Click on Photo for larger images. Contact us for additional information.

Price $295 plus shipping


A Golden Plover Shorebird Decoy in Winter Plumage by Captain James Wyer (1816 – 1899), Nantucket, Massachusetts, circa 1870s – 1880s. Wyer’s early history is quite typical of the men of Nantucket. He sailed on whaling ships 4 times, first as a cooper (barrel maker) and last as a ship’s Captain. His wife Harriet died in 1860, Wyer retired from the sea, and went to work as a carpenter in California. After 4 years he returned to Nantucket and began making lightship baskets. (See Rafael Osona’s Bio on Captain James Wyer.) As with many men on Nantucket, Wyer also engaged in shorebird hunting and Golden Plover were an object of desire. This Plover Decoy in Winter Plumage is an artifact of the era of hunting with a Bold Body, Split Tail Carving, Tack Eyes, and Worn Original Paint; its use is apparent in the shot marks on the body. The Bill appears to be Original, as it shows considerable age. Measurements: 10 ½” in length, 2 ½” in width, and 11” in height, including the stand. If you’re looking for an Identifiable Nantucket Golden Plover Decoy from the 1800s, this is your opportunity.

(DX380)  Click on Photo for larger images. Contact us for additional information.


Early Black-bellied Plover Shorebird Decoy by an Unknown Maker from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, circa 1880s – 1900. This Fine Shorebird Decoy which has seen use in the field, displays Strong Original Paint with Wear to the Wood in some places. The Whiteish Paint appears to have been put on rather thinly with no primer; whereas, the Black Paint was placed much more heavily, though both areas show wear. The Decoy is Quite Full-bodied and rather heavy compared to the majority of Shorebirds. A reasonable guess suggests that the bird was made from Mahogany or Walnut, most likely Mahogany. The Decoy is nicely carved down to a Pointed Tail and Each Side of the Tail is Incised to Suggest Primary Wing Separation. The Bill was Dowelled into the Front Head and Held in Place with a Dowell through the Top of the Head. After the Bill was carved down, apparently chip carved, it was split in use and reattached. That Split has been professionally restored and retouched. The photographs should help clarify the description. Measurements: 11” in length, 3” in width, and 13 ½” in height, including the stand. A Fine Cape Cod Black-bellied Plover Decoy.

(DX388)  Click on Photo for larger images. Contact us for additional information.

Price $1375 plus shipping


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