search

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
AN EXCEPTIONAL AND RARE RED-BREASTED MERGANSER HEN
AN EXCEPTIONAL AND RARE RED-BREASTED MERGANSER HEN

MADE BY LOTHROP HOLMES (1821-1899), KINGSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, MID TO LATE 19TH CENTURY

Details
AN EXCEPTIONAL AND RARE RED-BREASTED MERGANSER HEN
Made by Lothrop Holmes (1821-1899), Kingston, Massachusetts, Mid to Late 19th Century
Underside branded L.T. HOLMES; exceptional form with slightly turned and carved wooden crest. Retains outstanding original paint with excellent patina; professional repair by K.E. Delong to the bill, otherwise the structural condition is superb.
9¼ in. high, 14½ in. long
Provenance
Adele Earnest
Collection of George and Hope Wick
Literature
Adele Earnest, The Art of the Decoy: American Bird Carvings (New York, 1965), p. 133, fig. 113. Illustrated.

Condition Report

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

This is one of only six mergansers known by Holmes: This incredible hen, from the collection of George and Hope Wick, is considered by most to be the second best of the rig. One pair from the collection of Adele Earnest resides in the American Museum of Folk Art in New York, three others in private collections, and one pair from the collection of Russell B. Aitken, which was sold at Christie's New York, January 18, 2003, lot 1243.

While Holmes is known to have made other species of duck decoys, such as goldeneye and oldsquaw, his mergansers are held in the highest regard among collectors. Holmes also produced some of the finest shorebird decoys known to exist. His shorebird species include yellowlegs, black-bellied plover, with the rarest being only two known examples of the ruddy turnstone.

More from Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver, Prints and Decoys

View All
View All