AE Crowell black bellied plover to lead July decoy sale at Guyette and Deeter
AE Crowell’s black bellied plover is expected to make up to $150,000 on July 29-30
A rare “dust jacket” style black bellied plover by AE Crowell will headline Guyette and Deeter’s July Decoy Auction with a $125,000-150,000 estimate.
The sale will take place on July 29-30 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Crowell (1862-1952) is one of the most respected decoy makers of all time – a reputation that is reflected in his price point.
His auction record for a single decoy stands at $830,000 for a feeding “dust jacket” style black bellied plover, while a preening pintail drake and a Canada goose decoy made $1.1m each in a private sale brokered by decoy specialist Stephen O'Brien.
Crowell began his career as a carver by selling decoys in his home town of East Harwich, Massachusetts. He started out carving as a hobby and kept his production levels low up until the 1920s, when his work was heavily in demand from art lovers as well as hunters.
O’Brien described Crowell in an interview with Forbes magazine as the “Cezanne in the field of waterfowl carving”.
A Pinch-breasted Pintail drake produced by the Ward Brothers in Crisfield, Maryland in around 1932 is valued at $65,000-85,000.
Both worked as barbers but were keen hunters and would spend hours studying the native birds in order to perfect the colouration and patterning of their decoys.
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