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Duck Decoys

Considered prized relics of American folk art, collectible duck decoys have a history that runs parallel to the settlement and growth of North America. This evolution introduced a diverse number of wood carvers including Elmer Crowell, the Ward brothers, Lathrop T. Holmes, Delbert Daisey, and Charles Perdew. The evolution also prompted the establishment of decoy factories that capitalized on demand across the commercial and sport hunting industries.

Native Americans were the earliest known makers of duck decoys, using reeds, grass, and rushes to construct lifelike replicas. As North America was settled through the 1700s and 1800s, high restaurant demand for waterfowl brought market hunting to fruition. Concurrently, the need for duck decoys rose as commercial hunters often used 50 to 100 decoys or more on the water. The industry changed again once the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 was enacted, making commercial waterfowl hunting illegal. The popularity of game hunting grew, and wooden decoys remained an important trade.

When deciding which duck decoys to collect, some enthusiasts choose to gather decoys by bird type, carver, or even decoy position. The value of a resulting collection then depends on a combination of factors including condition, rarity, and carver. Altogether, decoys representing birds not typically hunted and decoys representing birds hunted with fewer decoys tend to hold higher value.


Quick Facts

  • During the Ford presidency, First Lady Betty Ford would often use carved waterfowl as centerpieces at White House dinners
  • The Smithsonian National Art Museum holds an expansive collection of duck decoys. The earliest is made by Native Americans, dating back to a period between 400 B.C. and 100 A.D.
  • Guyette and Deeter, Inc. specializes in selling decoys, holding four major auctions each year and weekly online auctions

Recommended Items at Auction

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Crowell Decoy
Mar 02, 9:00 AM EST
Crowell Decoy
by Dovetail Auctions, LLC
Est: $5- $500
$2409 Bids
Craig Fellows Big Sky Carvers Montana Duck Decoy
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Craig Fellows Big Sky Carvers Montana Duck Decoy
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $100- $150
$653 Bids
Pintail Drake Duck Decoy w/ Hollow Body, 19 in. (48.3 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Pintail Drake Duck Decoy w/ Hollow Body, 19 in. (48.3 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$603 Bids
Craig Fellows Big Sky Carvers Montana Duck Decoy
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Craig Fellows Big Sky Carvers Montana Duck Decoy
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $100- $150
$102 Bids
Craig Fellows Big Sky Carvers Montana Duck Decoy
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Craig Fellows Big Sky Carvers Montana Duck Decoy
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $100- $150
$302 Bids
Signed American Hand-Carved Wood Duck Decoys, 4
Mar 03, 12:00 PM EST
Signed American Hand-Carved Wood Duck Decoys, 4
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $600- $800
$1252 Bids
Illinois River Hollow Wigeon Hen Duck Decoy in Heavy Comb Paint, 15 in. (38.1 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Illinois River Hollow Wigeon Hen Duck Decoy in Heavy Comb Paint, 15 in. (38.1 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$452 Bids
Two Mason Decoy Factory Duck Decoys Largest: 6-1/2"h x 15-3/4"w
Mar 14, 10:00 AM EDT
Two Mason Decoy Factory Duck Decoys Largest: 6-1/2"h x 15-3/4"w
by Nye & Company
Est: $300- $500
$3002 Bids
A PAINTED WOODEN DECOY DUCK. 9ins long.
Mar 06, 10:30 AM GMT
A PAINTED WOODEN DECOY DUCK. 9ins long.
by John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: £40- £50
£351 Bid
Illinois River Mallard Hen Duck Decoy, 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Illinois River Mallard Hen Duck Decoy, 13 1/2 in. (34.3 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$301 Bid
Mallard Drake Duck Decoy by Tom Martindale of Wolfe Island, Ontario, 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Mallard Drake Duck Decoy by Tom Martindale of Wolfe Island, Ontario, 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$301 Bid
Mallard Hen Wood Duck Decoy
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Mallard Hen Wood Duck Decoy
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $25- $50
$101 Bid
Canvasback Hen Duck Decoy, Chesapeake Bay, MD, 15 1/2 in. (39.4 cm.)
Mar 03, 2:00 PM CST
Canvasback Hen Duck Decoy, Chesapeake Bay, MD, 15 1/2 in. (39.4 cm.)
by Asselmeier May Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$301 Bid
12" VINTAGE WOOD CARVED DUCK DECOY
Mar 02, 11:00 AM EST
12" VINTAGE WOOD CARVED DUCK DECOY
by Lakelands Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Canvasback Duck Decoy by George Kruth
Mar 03, 10:00 AM EST
Canvasback Duck Decoy by George Kruth
by Paul Arsenault Auctioneers
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
R Hall Canada Goose Decoy
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
R Hall Canada Goose Decoy
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $50- $75
$101 Bid
Tom Taber Ducks Unlimited Montana Duck Decoy
Mar 03, 9:00 AM MST
Tom Taber Ducks Unlimited Montana Duck Decoy
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $150- $200
$101 Bid
Important Outer Banks N.C. Carved Painted Duck Decoy
Mar 09, 10:00 AM EST
Important Outer Banks N.C. Carved Painted Duck Decoy
by Mebane Antique Auction
Est: $100- $10,000
$501 Bid
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WISCONSIN CANVASBACK DRAKE 20th Century Length 16”.
Mar 07, 9:30 AM EST
WISCONSIN CANVASBACK DRAKE 20th Century Length 16”.
by Eldred's
Est: $150- $200
$701 Bid
Large Antique Duck Decoy
Mar 03, 10:00 AM PST
Large Antique Duck Decoy
by California Auctioneers
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
Pair of Ariduk General Fibre Mallard Decoys
Mar 02, 9:00 AM MST
Pair of Ariduk General Fibre Mallard Decoys
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $25- $50
$100 Bids
A PAINTED WOODEN DECOY DUCK. 13ins long.
Mar 06, 10:30 AM GMT
A PAINTED WOODEN DECOY DUCK. 13ins long.
by John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: £40- £50
£350 Bids
A PAINTED WOODEN DECOY DUCK. 10ins high.
Mar 06, 10:30 AM GMT
A PAINTED WOODEN DECOY DUCK. 10ins high.
by John Nicholson's Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: £40- £50
£350 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Duck Decoys


Davis Brothers Auction

Davis Brothers Auction

Wehrly's Auction Service

Wehrly's Auction Service

Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC

Chupp Auctions & Real Estate, LLC