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Auction Description for Copley: Session I - Decoys and Folk Art
Viewing Notes:
Auction Preview Times Monday July 29, 2013 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Tuesday July 30, 2013 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM Wednesday July 31, 1013 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Session I - Decoys and Folk Art

by Copley Fine Art Auctions


433 lots with images

July 30, 2013

Live Auction

The Radisson, 180 Water St.

Plymouth, MA, 02360 USA

Phone: (617) 536-0030

Fax: (617) 266-4896

Email: aimee@copleyart.com

433 Lots
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Orca

Lot 1: Orca

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Description: A twenty-three-inch-long silhouette carving displaying a carved eye, an inletted pectoral flipper, an inletted dorsal fin, separated flukes, and the maker's signature on the back.

Condition Report: Original condition with hairline crack which is original to the carving.

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Minke Whale

Lot 2: Minke Whale

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Description: A twenty-and-three-quarter-inch-long, silhouette whale carving displaying a carved eye, a raised pectoral flipper, a dorsal fin, separated flukes, and the maker's signature on the back.

Condition Report: Original condition.

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Sperm Whale Weathervane

Lot 3: Sperm Whale Weathervane

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Description: A rare white whale weathervane. Only two of these thirty-inch whalesA rare white whale weathervane. Only two of these thirty-inch whales were crafted following a visit by the artist to Nantucket. Features include: carved eyes, a lower jaw with bone teeth, and a tail that pinwheels in the wind. The vane is carved from inch-and-a-half cedar. The insertion hole is brass lined, and the carved propeller tail is ten inches across. The painted surface has light overall craquelure. Signed with incised "McNair"on the underside of whale. were crafted following a visit by the artist to Nantucket. Features include: carved eyes, a lower jaw with bone teeth, and a tail that pinwheels in the wind. The vane is carved from inch-and-a-half cedar. The insertion hole is brass lined, and the carved propeller tail is ten inches across. The painted surface has light overall craquelure. Signed with incised "McNair"on the underside of whale.

Condition Report: Original condition.

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Running Golden Plover

Lot 4: Running Golden Plover

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Description: An over-sized, split-tail, shorebird decoy displaying glass eyes, raised S-carved wings, and the maker's incised signature on the underside. The paint pattern applied to this decoy is exquisite and showcases the maker's adept skill as a master artist.

Condition Report: Excellent original paint.

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Godwit

Lot 5: Godwit

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Description: A classic, Virginia-style, shorebird decoy with carved eyes, pronounced eye grooves and wings, and the maker's incised signature on the underside.

Condition Report: Original paint with distressed finish by the maker.

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Turned-Head Yellowlegs

Lot 6: Turned-Head Yellowlegs

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Description: A root-head shorebird decoy with raised wings and the maker's incised signature on the underside.

Condition Report: Original condition.

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Hollow Curlew

Lot 7: Hollow Curlew

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Description: Traditional carvers from Cobb Island and Virginia's Eastern Shore provided the inspiration for this bold hollow shorebird. Carved eyes, splined bill, carved wings, and a split tail are features of this content curlew. Incised "Stavis" and "McNair" on the underside.

Condition Report: Original condition with applied gunning wear and age lines.

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Sperm Whale

Lot 8: Sperm Whale

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Description: Measuring a full fifty inches in length this carving is the largest McNair whale ever to come to market. Made to hang above a fireplace mantle or on the wall, it features the maker's finest carving detail with an intricate eye, row of carved bone teeth, a raised pectoral flipper, separated flukes, and the maker's incised signature on the back.

Condition Report: Original condition.

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Curlew

Lot 9: Curlew

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Description: This decoy was inspired by the famous Ira Hudson carving illustrated in William J. Mackey, Jr. and Milton C. Weiler's Classic Shorebird Decoys. It exhibits a splined bill, raised primaries, lightly scratch-painted feather detail, and the maker's incised signature on the underside.

Condition Report: Original paint, two tight cracks on one side. These cracks appear to be intentional by the artist and align with those of the bird illustrated in Classic Shore Decoys.

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Exceptional Over-Sized Curlew

Lot 10: Exceptional Over-Sized Curlew

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Description: An eighteen-inch-long, hollow-carved, Bunn/Bowman-style, shorebird decoy with tack eyes, carved raised wings, and the maker's incised signature on the underside along with painted "LH" initials. Removable bill.

Condition Report: Original condition.

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Killdeer

Lot 11: Killdeer

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Description: A life-size, tack-eyed decoy with a drilled stringing hole and the maker's incised signature on the underside.

Condition Report: Original condition.

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Miniature Yellowlegs

Lot 12: Miniature Yellowlegs

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Description: An exceptionally rare, three-inch-high (stand included) shorebird with split-tail carving, black glass eyes, and finely detailed painted feathering. Signed by the maker with an incised "M" on the underside.

Condition Report: Original condition.

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Brook Trout

Lot 13: Brook Trout

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Description: A rare, ten-and-one-half-inch, ice fishing decoy displaying an incised curved wooden tail, carved mouth and gill detail, copper fins, and a poured lead weight. Fine paint with a light coat of varnish. Incised "McNair" signature on underside of the fish.

Condition Report: Original condition.

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Miniature Canada Goose

Lot 14: Miniature Canada Goose

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Description: A six-inch-long, swimming, Cobb Island-inspired goose carving with black glass eyes, rigging, and the maker's incised signature on the underside.

Condition Report: Original distressed condition.

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Miniature Canada Goose

Lot 15: Miniature Canada Goose

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Description: A six-inch-long Canada goose carving inspired by the classic 19th century decoys of Walter Brady of Oyster, Virginia. The goose exhibits a splined bill, raised primaries, rigging, and is signed with an incised "M" on the underside.

Condition Report: Original condition.

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Mourning Dove

Lot 16: Mourning Dove

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Description: A carved bird decoy displaying graceful form, a splined beak, pronounced raised wings, and a long tail. The maker's incised signature is on the underside.

Condition Report: Original condition with minimal wear.

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Killdeer

Lot 17: Killdeer

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Description: A tack-eyed bird with raised wings exhibiting scratch-painted feather detail and the maker's incised signature on the underside.

Condition Report: Original condition.

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Yellowlegs

Lot 18: Yellowlegs

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Description: A tack-eyed shorebird decoy with an oak bill. The head is removable with a mortise and tenon jointed neck. The maker's signature is incised on the underside.

Condition Report: Original condition.

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Black-Bellied Plover

Lot 19: Black-Bellied Plover

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Description: A slightly over-sized shorebird decoy with glass eyes, a splined bill, raised wing tips, and the maker's incised signature on the underside.

Condition Report: Original distressed condition.

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Yellowlegs

Lot 20: Yellowlegs

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Description: This decoy features a splined bill, scratch-painted feathering, and the maker's incised signature on the underside.

Condition Report: Original paint with light wear and areas of uneven finish on the underside.

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Dowitcher

Lot 21: Dowitcher

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Description: A racy shorebird decoy with black glass eyes, a splined bill, raised wings, and the maker's incised signature on the underside.

Condition Report: Original paint with light crazing on the breast and along the back.

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Peep

Lot 22: Peep

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Description: A seven-inch-long sandpiper decoy with carved eyes, a splined bill, raised S-curved wings, and the maker's incised "McNair" signature on the underside.

Condition Report: Original condition with craquelure and wear to include a couple of very small paint flakes below one eye.

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Exceedingly Rare Wood Duck Hen

Lot 23: Exceedingly Rare Wood Duck Hen

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Description: "Wood duck drakes being so beautiful, I went nearly 40 years without making a hen." - Mark S. McNair A hollow, preening decoy with raised wings, incised primaries, and the maker's carved signature on the bottom. According to the artist, he has made only three wood duck hens since 1974, two straight heads and this single preener. This is believed to be the only wood duck hen by the maker to ever be publicly offered for sale.

Condition Report: Original condition.

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Wigeon Drake

Lot 24: Wigeon Drake

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Description: A slightly turned head, hollow-carved, working decoy with the maker's incised signature and Walsh rig brand on the bottom.

Condition Report: Original paint with light gunning wear.

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Red-Breasted Merganser Hen

Lot 25: Red-Breasted Merganser Hen

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Description: A rare, pinch-breast, low-head, merganser decoy with the maker's incised signature on the bottom.

Condition Report: Original paint with light wear and age lines.

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Black Duck

Lot 26: Black Duck

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Description: A hollow, Mason Factory-inspired decoy with the maker's incised initial signature and "PREMIER" stenciled on the bottom.

Condition Report: Original paint with wear applied by the maker.

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Special Order Old Squaw Drake

Lot 27: Special Order Old Squaw Drake

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Description: A hollow-carved, slightly turned head, decoy with raised primary wing feathers and tail carving. Signed by the maker with impressed letters in the weight and with "SGH" stamped letters for the Headley collection.

Condition Report: Original paint with light wear and an age line on the underside.

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Bluebill Drake

Lot 27A: Bluebill Drake

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Description: A classic, Delaware River, diving duck restored in 1977 by Bob White with his signature in ink on the underside.

Condition Report: Repainted with minimal wear from handling, no weight.

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Pintail Pair

Lot 28: Pintail Pair

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Description: This pair has raised wing and tail carving. Signed on the bottom with the maker's impressed quail weight.

Condition Report: Original paint with a coat of sealer by the maker.

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Mallard Pair

Lot 29: Mallard Pair

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Description: A pair of classic, Delaware River decoys with raised wing and tail carving. Signed and dated on the bottom with the maker's impressed quail weight.

Condition Report: Original condition.

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Black Duck

Lot 30: Black Duck

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Description: A rare swimming decoy with exceptional form by this talented Delaware River maker. This carving displays a pronounced paddle tail, humped back, and upswept bill.

Condition Report: Original paint with even gunning wear and some darkening, even flaking to bare wood.

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Brant

Lot 31: Brant

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Description: An animated, swimming, hollow-carved Jersey Coast decoy with a "H. W. Cain" rig brand on the underside. Harold Cain was from Atlantic City, worked for the Atlantic City Beach Patrol, and gunned with Win Conover. The inset weight has rounded ends, the bottom is stamped "N" and "1603". These are possible collection marks of the Fred Noyes collection. A written "GNG" designates the Giberson collection.

Condition Report: Original paint with working touch-up to white and gunning wear.

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Black Duck

Lot 32: Black Duck

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Description: A classic, hollow, Delaware River, low-head decoy from the rig of George Winter with his stamp on the underside. Winter is known for his miniature wildfowl carvings which were sold by Abercrombie and Fitch, New York, New York, in the mid-twentieth century.

Condition Report: Working repaint with minimal wear from handling.

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Brant

Lot 33: Brant

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Description: Nathan Rowley Horner (1881-1942), West Creek, NJ or Chris Sprague (1888-1982), Beach Haven, NJ, c. 1920 A classic New Jersey hollow brant decoy.

Condition Report: Old paint with light craquelure, gunning wear to include dents, body seam shrinkage, and some in-use touch-up.

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Black Duck

Lot 34: Black Duck

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Description: A hollow, Delaware River, low-head decoy collected by famed New Jersey collector John Hillman. This decoy displays raised wing and tail carving with the Hillman Collection ink stamp on the underside.

Condition Report: In excellent paint by Quinn, which may be a second coat, with light gunning wear. A few small dents on one side of face.

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Exemplary Brant

Lot 35: Exemplary Brant

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Description: A well-sculpted, hollow decoy by New Jersey's most famous maker. With its full body and tight crisp striations, this is the finest Shourds brant ever to come to market.

Condition Report: Strong original paint with even gunning wear.

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Redhead Drake

Lot 36: Redhead Drake

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Description: A rare, hollow, Barnegat Bay decoy with a faint "J.B. French" collection ink stamp on the underside. Originally part of the Eshenbaugh collection, Tom Eshenbaugh was one of the great, early decoy collectors. Though largely unheralded, his major decoy collection was purchased in the 1960's by Bill Butler, Hal Sorensen, and Joe French, before the era of most decoy publications. Major pieces in that collection included a Holly swan and a Blair wigeon along with this fine redhead.

Condition Report: Original paint with even gunning wear, minor touch-up to right cheek and reset neck.

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Hudsonian Curlew

Lot 37: Hudsonian Curlew

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Description: McAnney was a lifelong member of the North Brigantine Life-Saving Service, a bayman, and a hunting and fishing guide; he claimed to have never missed a day of any gunning season. He created a refined and effective curlew form with some of the finest paint detail by any New Jersey shorebird decoy maker. This stellar example displays painted eyes and nice thick textured paint with precise feathering.

Condition Report: Excellent original paint with minimal wear.

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Swimming Black Duck

Lot 38: Swimming Black Duck

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Description: An exceedingly rare, hollow, swimming, black duck displaying tack eyes, carved bill detail, bold scratch painted feathering, and the original rigging. This is one of the finest Shourds decoys known and considered one of the pinnacle working decoys to come out of New Jersey. Only a few of these swimming black ducks by this master carver are known to exist.

Condition Report: In exceptional original paint with light gunning wear and age line in tail.

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Sanderling

Lot 39: Sanderling

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Description: Measuring only seven and one-half inches in length only a couple of these true sandpipers by Shourds have ever surfaced. Of the few examples recorded by decoy historians and collectors this example ranks amongst the finest. With its original splined bill and original patinated surface, this exquisite Shourds shorebird decoy features the maker's best stippled paint and rarely seen painted wing tips. A lightly written conjoined "JF" and other subtle Joe French collection markings are on the underside.

Condition Report: Original paint with light gunning wear to include a few rubs.

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Outstanding Yellowlegs

Lot 40: Outstanding Yellowlegs

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Description: An exemplary painted-eye shorebird decoy with its original splined bill. This Shourds decoy features the maker's best stippled paint with pleasing patina and his early oval primary feather paint pattern.

Condition Report: Excellent original paint with light gunning wear and very faint age line in the bill.

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Black-Bellied Plover

Lot 41: Black-Bellied Plover

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Description: A full-bodied, painted-eye, shorebird decoy with its original splined bill. This outstanding Shourds decoy features the maker's finest stippled paint and painted wing tips.

Condition Report: Original paint with gunning wear and minor touch-up to left tip of bill.

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Robin Snipe

Lot 42: Robin Snipe

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Description: An early example by this famous New Jersey carver displaying painted eyes, its original splined bill and desirable dry surface. This Shourds shorebird decoy features the makers finest stippled paint and rarely seen painted primary feathers.

Condition Report: Original paint with light even gunning wear and touch-up around eyes.

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Duck Head Gun Rack

Lot 43: Duck Head Gun Rack

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Description: Four pairs of swimming duck heads including a pair of mallards, black ducks, wigeon, and canvasbacks mounted on two bevel-edged, poplar boards measuring four-and-one-quarter by thirty-two inches. The heads exhibit painted tack eyes, broad cheeks, and lightly carved bill detail.

Condition Report: Original condition with patina and minor wear from use.

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Black Duck Stick-up

Lot 43A: Black Duck Stick-up

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Description: A standing, life-size, black duck decoy, with a slightly turned head, displaying glass eyes, a downward-looking posture, and a vertically-laminated body with finely executed painted feathering.

Condition Report: Original paint with light patina and minimal wear, mostly at the neck seam.

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Orca

Lot 44: Orca

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Description: An eighteen-inch-long wall carving with "C VOORHEES" stamped on the back and the maker's initials, "CV", conjoined and incised on the back.

Condition Report: Original paint with minimal wear and light patina.

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Dowitcher

Lot 45: Dowitcher

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Description: A hollow, full-bodied, shorebird decoy with raised primaries and the maker's impressed "DBW" initials on the underside.

Condition Report: Original condition.

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Godwit

Lot 46: Godwit

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Description: A hollow, full-bodied, shorebird decoy with raised wings and carved primaries. The makers impressed "DBW" initials are on the underside.

Condition Report: Original condition.

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Eskimo Curlew

Lot 47: Eskimo Curlew

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Description: An antique-style, silhouette, shorebird decoy with an old iron spike bill. Faintly signed by the maker on the underside.

Condition Report: Original condition with applied wear by the maker.

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Mallard Drake Box

Lot 48: Mallard Drake Box

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Description: Edward "Ted" Mulliken (1896-1964) of Wildfowler Decoys (1939-1957) Old Saybrook, CT, c. 1940 A superior model, full-size, sleeping mallard jewelry or dresser box made of pine.

Condition Report: Original paint with warm patina and very minor flaking.

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