Loading Spinner

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

See all items

AMERICAN FOLK ART CARVED AND PAINTED CANVASBACK DECOY
Jun 25, 9:00 AM EDT
AMERICAN FOLK ART CARVED AND PAINTED CANVASBACK DECOY
by Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates
Est: $100- $200
$1406 Bids
bp parity badge
Goldeneye Samuel Collins Decoy
Jun 26, 10:00 AM EDT
Goldeneye Samuel Collins Decoy
by New Haven Auctions
Est: $150- $250
$2005 Bids
MASON FACTORY CARVED AND PAINTED MALLARD DECOY
Jun 25, 9:00 AM EDT
MASON FACTORY CARVED AND PAINTED MALLARD DECOY
by Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates
Est: $100- $150
$2004 Bids
Preening hen green wing teal in very good condition with initials RWD on stand
Jul 17, 10:00 AM MDT
Preening hen green wing teal in very good condition with initials RWD on stand
by Prime Time Auctions
Est: $50- $300
$254 Bids
West coast pintail duck decoy in good original paint
Jul 17, 10:00 AM MDT
West coast pintail duck decoy in good original paint
by Prime Time Auctions
Est: $200- $1,000
$1204 Bids
AMERICAN FOLK ART CARVED AND PAINTED PAIR OF CANVASBACK DECOYS
Jun 25, 9:00 AM EDT
AMERICAN FOLK ART CARVED AND PAINTED PAIR OF CANVASBACK DECOYS
by Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates
Est: $200- $300
$1903 Bids
Green wing teal drake decoy
Jul 17, 10:00 AM MDT
Green wing teal drake decoy
by Prime Time Auctions
Est: $100- $200
$303 Bids
AMERICAN FOLK ART CARVED AND PAINTED DUCK DECOYS, LOT OF TWO
Jun 25, 9:00 AM EDT
AMERICAN FOLK ART CARVED AND PAINTED DUCK DECOYS, LOT OF TWO
by Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates
Est: $100- $200
$803 Bids
Two Vintage Fish Decoys
Jul 16, 10:00 AM MDT
Two Vintage Fish Decoys
by Prime Time Auctions
Est: $150- $400
$153 Bids
Green wing teal decoy in original paint
Jul 17, 10:00 AM MDT
Green wing teal decoy in original paint
by Prime Time Auctions
Est: $50- $200
$202 Bids
(2pc) Plastic Owl Decoy
Jun 25, 10:00 AM MST
(2pc) Plastic Owl Decoy
by EJ'S Auction & Appraisal
Est: $0- $0
$152 Bids
4 Signed/dated Wooden Duck Decoys
Jun 28, 8:30 AM EDT
4 Signed/dated Wooden Duck Decoys
by Wehrly's Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$52 Bids
bp parity badge
Reggie Birch Wooden Decoy, Widgeon
Jun 28, 9:00 AM EDT
Reggie Birch Wooden Decoy, Widgeon
by Lion and Unicorn
Est: $100- $200
$252 Bids
West coast pintail drake decoy in original paint
Jul 17, 10:00 AM MDT
West coast pintail drake decoy in original paint
by Prime Time Auctions
Est: $200- $500
$201 Bid
Green wing teal in original paint from west coast
Jul 17, 10:00 AM MDT
Green wing teal in original paint from west coast
by Prime Time Auctions
Est: $200- $800
$101 Bid
Pan fish decoy
Jul 17, 10:00 AM MDT
Pan fish decoy
by Prime Time Auctions
Est: $50- $300
$51 Bid
Three Vintage Fish Decoys
Jul 16, 10:00 AM MDT
Three Vintage Fish Decoys
by Prime Time Auctions
Est: $100- $300
$101 Bid
Black duck in good original paint
Jul 17, 10:00 AM MDT
Black duck in good original paint
by Prime Time Auctions
Est: $200- $500
$201 Bid
Antique Wooden Duck Decoy, 15" Long
Jul 02, 1:00 PM EDT
Antique Wooden Duck Decoy, 15" Long
by Homestead Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
RD LEWIS 1979 WOOD DUCK DECOY
Jun 25, 9:00 AM MDT
RD LEWIS 1979 WOOD DUCK DECOY
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $75- $125
$101 Bid
RD LEWIS 1979 WOOD DUCK DECOY
Jun 25, 9:00 AM MDT
RD LEWIS 1979 WOOD DUCK DECOY
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $75- $125
$101 Bid
Old working black scoter decoy
Jul 17, 10:00 AM MDT
Old working black scoter decoy
by Prime Time Auctions
Est: $50- $200
$51 Bid
Bufflehead decoy in original paint
Jul 17, 10:00 AM MDT
Bufflehead decoy in original paint
by Prime Time Auctions
Est: $100- $250
$101 Bid
Working duck decoy
Jul 17, 10:00 AM MDT
Working duck decoy
by Prime Time Auctions
Est: $50- $100
$51 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Duck Decoys


Prime Time Auctions

Prime Time Auctions

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates

Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates