This is a wonderful and rare Bluebill Duck Decoy attributed to being carved by John Black Graham of Charlestown Maryland circa: 1870s
I purchased this decoy many years ago. It was one of three rigmates purchased out of a collection. I purchased this one from the finder. The second one was sold to a friend in California and at that time the finder kept one for himself.
This particular decoy had a back of the head crack. I never restore any of my decoys, I usually leave them as they are, but this one I had Russ Allen restore because it is premium decoy. Russ did a marvelous job on it. I have had opinions on the paint and it was stated they believe it could be original and if by chance it is an overpaint is is only a light second coat. I paid a good buck for this decoy and I have put it away for years.
It is only my opinion that the larger body Graham bluebills were carved in the 1890s/1900 period. This particular style is his 1870s style small body bluebills. They are extremely rare. There is a nail in back of the lead weight in the body of this decoy. I believe at one time this decoy may have had a keel weight on it and the hole was plugged with this nail.