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B2340 - Illinois River Folky Canvasback Decoy in original comb paint circa early 1900s


This wonderful Decoy is probably one of the most Folky carved decoys I have ever owned. As my Grandfather used to say, "It is so ugly, Its Beautiful"

It has   original hand chopped and carved Illinois River comb wing paint and has a deep body that is two piece hollow carved with an original cast lead weight on the bottom. This decoy is very well made and even though a wonderful piece of American Utilitarian Folk Art, it was carved by a professional, who wanted a simple but lethal decoy to lure the birds within shooting range. It has been hunted over and has all of the characteristic chips, nicks, wear and use of a gunned over duck decoy. 

I have shown this decoy and have received an attribution of early Illinois River Decoy carver/hunter Fred May from Meridosia, Illinois who was also a boat builder and is known to have only carved decoys for his own use. An Attribution is basically someones best guess and I personally have never seen a full size decoy by  Fred May and I cannot say for sure this is who carved it. There is a Bio on him on page 456 and a picture of one of Fred May's Miniature decoy carvings shown on page 457 Plate 398. of "Decoys and Decoy Carvers of Illinois" book by Parmalee and Loomis.


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