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“A True War Horse” Yellowlegs Shorebird Decoy by an Unknown Maker from Rhode Island, circa 1900 or earlier. A group of Yellowlegs Shorebird Decoy were found in a House in Rhode Island some number of years back. Most of the birds in the rig were more Flat-sided; this was the only Full-bodied decoy and it is made from three pieces of wood to create that look. I sold the other birds years ago, but kept this one as an example of a heavily used example. It was obviously over painted, and probably more than once (the other birds were in the same paint pattern), though it displays considerable age. The Neck was broken at some point and wrapped back together with some material before the over paint. It maintains its Original Tack Eyes which has caused the Head to Split from its exposure to the elements and the expansion of the tacks. Interestingly, the Bill may be Original because it is Dowelled through the Head and then Nailed in through the top of the head with what looks to be a small Wire Nail. It measures 11” in length, 2 1/2”+ in width, and 12” in height, including the wood base. If you’re looking for a “Good Old Shorebird Decoy” from Southern New England, this is it.
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Yellowlegs Shorebird Decoy by Frank Adams (1871 – 1944), Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, circa 1900 – 1920s. This Shorebirds represents Frank Adams’ Classic Form with Near Mint Original Paint. The Coloration is Quite Interesting; yet it is Typical for his Yellowlegs Decoys. There is an extended discussion of the Adams’ decoys in Stanley Murphy’s Martha’s Vineyard Decoys. This decoy displays very minor wear. Measurements: 9 ½” in length, 2” in width, and 11” in height, including the wooden stand. Former Herbert Hancock Collection. Great Example of a Frank Adams Shorebird Decoy.
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Price $1200 plus shipping
Early Curlew Shorebird Decoy by Herbert Stevens Randall (1900 – 1971), Seabrook, New Hampshire, circa 1920 -1940s. Early in life Randall worked with his father Herbert Leonard Randall as a market gunner, supplying the Boston markets with shorebirds and ducks. Though the market gunning era ended during the 1920s, many people continued hunting along the relatively isolated coast at least through the depression simply to feed their families. Later, Randall carved decoys for local duck hunters and shorebirds for the tourist trade. Randall’s Form and Paint remained fairly consistent throughout his career, though the details of various changes require a detailed article. This particular Curlew came from an early estate in Rhode Island some years ago and was part of a highly varied antique collection. The early base is intriguing as a piece of lathe turned log with the base hollowed and filled with cement. The decoy displays Original Paint with Normal Wear, a Hard Wood Bill, and Painted Eyes. The Image of this piece was probably meant to reflect the Eskimo Curlew. It is not signed, as many of his later birds were, nor does it have the tack eyes or carrying staples under the tail. 10 1/2" in length, 3" in width, and 14" in height, including the stand. A Nice Opportunity for the New England or Shorebird Collector.
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A Classic Dodge Long-billed Dowitcher Shorebird Decoy by the Jasper Dodge Decoy Company (1870s - 1920s), Detroit , Michigan, circa 1880s – 1890s. This Dowitcher displays Strong Original Paint, Tack Eyes, and a Nail Bill. With regard to Dodge Decoy history, this shorebird probably fits into his later production period. See Sharp & Dodge Detroit Decoy Dynasty, especially pg. 199. The Condition is Very Good with the only problem being some minor filler loss at the base of the bill. The Full-bodied Shorebird measures 11 ¾” in length, 2 ½” in width, and 11 ½” in height, including the wooden stand. An Outstanding Dodge Dowitcher Decoy.
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Price $7800 plus shipping
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