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      TO THOSE REGISTERING FOR MEMBERSHIP ON UJ   01/06/2018

      To the Guests who have decided to register for Membership. PLEASE read Terms of Service, not just checking it off. This is covered there: Add more info than just "hunting" or "Upland hunting" or "birds" or "outdoors" or similar nebulous terms in the required INTERESTS field. Despite this Boards strong spam filtering function, some Spam registrations do sneak through. I need an inkling that you are a human being not a Spam Bot tagging onto key words. Also please do not use a business name as your User Name. Thank you.
DennisMcFeely

decoy collecting

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fullchoke16

Thanks Dennis,fascinating reading. Great decoy.

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SelbyLowndes

I always try to keep at least one vintage wood decoy in my hunting sets, one for divers and one for puddlers.  I don't collect, but I have accumulated a few over the years.  Most, I've found when local lakes go dry for a few years, then come back. The old water sodden decoys dry out and will arise with the new water and I make it a point to search for them.  Mostly old Victors  or Animal Trap Company birds.  I keep hoping for a Mason...SelbyLowndes

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garyRI

Before I quit carving and hunting over my own decoys I liked to stop at shops that had old decoys in stock. Many times I saw wood body decoys, always with some shot imbedded, with a tag that said original paint. When you use decoys with wood heads the paint gets worn because the head is a natural handle to pick them up by. So at least the heads have to be repainted every couple years. So it is impossible for any decoy used very often to have original paint.

 

i like to collect/accumulate stuff and have a garage and basement that proves it, but I would advise being careful about collecting anything old made out of wood claiming valuable provenance.

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DennisMcFeely
1 hour ago, garyRI said:

I would advise being careful about collecting anything old made out of wood claiming valuable provenance.

 

I agree it'd be foolish if you simply took strangers at their word.  Fortunately it's not terribly complicated these days to test the veracity of some objects when they're sold publicly, with many knowledgeable references for its' authenticity.

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garyRI

I think plenty complicated.

 

Somewhere I have a book about Shang Wheeler carved decoys that even has xrays to show how he attached heads and put hollow bodies together.

 

Pre 1830 (rotary saws available then) American made furniture pit saw marks are faked. And experts get fooled all the time on fine art work. Has to be easier with primatives.

 

"The Big Question: How many of the paintings in our public museums are

https://www.independent.co.uk › Culture › Art › News

Apr 15, 2010 - But exactly how many are fake? A reasonable estimate might be that at least 20 per cent of the paintings held by our major museums, some up on the walls, many others in the vaults, will no longer be attributed to the same painter 100 years from now. Another matter worth bearing in mind is this: the less ..."

 

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KerryLuft

I don't chase after the big-name decoy carvers. While I would love to have a Madison Mitchell or a Ward Brothers canvasback, or a Perdew mallard, I don't have the knowledge to prevent myself from getting burned.  And I can't justify the prices anyway.

 

However, I do know what I like.  If I see a decoy that trips my trigger, I think about whether the price is worth it to me.  If it is, I pay it.  Sometimes, face to face, I get it for less than list.  Big win for me.  Then I forget what I paid, put the decoy in a place where I can see it, and smile when I look at it, which to me is the point behind collecting anything.

 

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Brad Eden

I haven't read this whole Topic, but if anybody is on Mt Desert Island in Maine, go to the Wendell Gilley Museum in Southwest Harbor. Awesome museum filled with his decoys and bird carvings. He was a plumber from that town who carved on the side originally. He did carve working decoys but I think is best know for his detailed bird carvings.

 

Wendell Gilley Museum Website

 

 

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DennisMcFeely
On ‎4‎/‎23‎/‎2018 at 6:38 PM, garyRI said:

I think plenty complicated.

 

While I agree the potential for fraud is high, I'd argue that with a little bit of due diligence one can significantly mitigate risk. 

 

In this day and age, technology and social media are powerful tools here.  The decoy I purchased for example is well over a hundred years old so it'd be difficult to find anyone that watched the man carve it.  That said, I spoke to the gentleman I bought it from at length and was astounded at the depth of his knowledge and family history of the Charlestown/Cecil County carvers and their birds.  I spoke with several equally knowledgeable gentlemen who spoke to the integrity of that seller, as well as the veracity of that bird itself. 

 

Some of these folks meet regularly in person in clubs and each bring decoys for others to scrutinize carefully.  Many of these birds change hands among serious collectors.  That bird has been posted and held to scrutiny by some of the most fervent collectors from all over the country.   The variables they analyze are many.  Known fake decoys and those selling them are regularly called out and "shamed" if you will on public forums as a way of protecting newcomers like myself.  I too have seen x-rays posted of some of these decoys and detailed analysis as you've mentioned as to the construction throughout.  This slippery slope can lead to a deeply obsessive well.

 

The frauds are there, but there are plenty of resources to triangulate and buy with a high degree of confidence.  I'm not writing to be adversarial garyRI but in large part because I've been astonished at what resources are out there for newbies like me to educate themselves.  I came to this with a high degree of skepticism but you're right anything is possible.

 

I appreciate all the information you've offered here.

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garyRI
2 hours ago, KerryLuft said:

  If I see a decoy that trips my trigger, I think about whether the price is worth it to me.  If it is, I pay it. 

This is the correct decision process for collecting. 

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