Wildfowler's working decoy Shoveler Duck
Hand carved, c 1900



L 35cm (13.5") H 15cm (6") - life size


The unmistakable profile of a Shoveler Duck. Life sized and carved in a dark, close grained hardwood. Acquired by a charming Cornishman collector a lifetime ago, who believed the bird crossed the Atlantic on a migration in the early 1900s.
Remnant layers of cream, ochre and faded red paint survive. Three holes drilled below decks accommodated lead weights and anchor line tethers. He could probably tell many stories of misted dawns, floating in wait for his live cousins to flight in - and now, happily, he can rest with his working days long gone.
He is, in Owtside + In's favourite way, "unnecessarily well made" : while pine would normally suffice for decoys, he is beautifully and accurately carved in a dense hardwood, wing tips neatly folded, the characteristic beak, and eyes traced out in brass wire. Rare and lovely.
c 1900, probably USA.

Stock No. 1965