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    Sale 2030

    Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Maritime Art and Prints

    25 September 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 10

    AN EXTREMELY RARE "MONHEGAN ISLAND" STYLE REDBREASTED MERGANSER DRAKE

    AUGUSTUS AARON WILSON (1864-1950), SOUTH PORTLAND, MAINE, CIRCA 1900

    Price Realised  

    AN EXTREMELY RARE "MONHEGAN ISLAND" STYLE REDBREASTED MERGANSER DRAKE
    Augustus Aaron Wilson (1864-1950), South Portland, Maine, circa 1900
    Slightly turned inlet head with carved crest, eyes and relief carved wings.
    Appears to retain original paint with a patinated surface. Two features were added, likely by the original owner, to identify this as being a part of his personal rig. These early added features include small tack eyes which were placed over the original carved eyes, and a thin coat of black paint to the underside. Some light shot marks are evident. Overall the structural condition is excellent.
    16½ in. long


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    In his book, The Great Book of Wildfowl Decoys, Engers describes a rigmate to this decoy as one of Wilson's finest creations (Joe Engers, The Great Book of Wildfowl Decoys (San Diego, 1990), p. 43). Representing one of Wilson's earlier works, this so-called "Monhegan Style" decoy exhibits a more stylish, serpentine form than his later carvings. However, all of the characteristics which have identified his works over his career remain the same. They include, mortised or inletted head, raised wings, carved eyes and in this case both a slightly turned head, and a carved wooden crest. This is one of three known from this specific rig which was purchased from a fish shack in Cape Porpoise, Maine in the early 1980s.

    For other examples from the same rig see: Joe Engers, The Great Book of Wildfowl Decoys (San Diego, 1990), p. 43., Guyette and Schmidt, Inc., "North American Decoys At Auction," April 2006, lot 87., and Guyette and Schmidt, Inc., "North American Decoys At Auction," July 1996, lot 466.

    Pre-Lot Text

    PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION