Published: June 5, 2012
Guyette, Schmidt & Deeter conducted its 27th annual spring decoy auction on April 26′7 at the Pheasant Run Resort. The auction was held in conjunction with the National Antique Decoy and Sporting Collectibles Show and grossed $2.4 million, including the buyer’s premium.
There was a good-sized crowd in attendance with 277 registered bidders in the audience, another 156 people bidding by phone or absentee and 216 bidders registered online. Bidding battles for key decoys erupted continually as many items sold over estimate, and in some cases many times over estimate, with three lots selling for more than $100,000.
The sale featured decoys from the collection of many longtime collectors from New Jersey, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, Tennessee, Texas and New York. World auction records were established in many categories and for many carvers and artists.
The top lot in the sale was a sleeping mallard hen by Charles Perdew (Henry, Ill.), which sold within estimate at $184,000. Other Illinois River decoys brought strong prices as well. A Canada goose by Charles Perdew sold over estimate at $23,000, and two Charles Walker mallards sold within estimate at $16,100 for a drake and $34,500 for a hen.
A John English canvasback drake sold at $115,000, a world auction record for the maker.
The sale included numerous shorebird decoys from the collection of Jim and Judy Eberle, Mich., most brought strong prices with many selling over estimate. An exceptional curlew by Charles Clark sold for six times its estimate at $69,575, setting a world record for the maker. A rare ruddy turnstone by Daniel Lake Leeds realized $41,400.
A grouping of Ontario decoys made record prices. A Canada goose by Tom Chambers sold for $20,700, a greenwing teal by Charles Reeves went to $19,550 and a hollow carved bluebill by D.K. Nichol realized $16,100 †the last two were world auction records for the makers.
In recent years, Guyette, Schmidt & Deeter has been selling groupings of fish decoys and duck calls at its April auction. This year, a large carved plaque of two partridges in a pine tree by fish decoy maker and folk artist, Oscar Peterson, sold for four times its estimate at $123,600, a world auction record for Peterson. A selection of fish decoys, circa 1890s, from Lake Chautauqua, N.Y., also sold over estimate.
Duck calls sold very well. A “Duck Head” call by Kinney & Harlow sold for twice its estimate at $24,250; a rare transitional call by Charles Perdew sold for three times its low estimate at $15,425, an auction record for a Perdew duck call. A John Cochran call sold for a world auction record price of $16,675, and a Benjon call sold for $5,925, also a world auction record for the maker.
Guyette Schmidt & Deeter’s next decoy sale will be July 17‱8 in Portsmouth, N.H., at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel.
For information, 410-745-0485 or www.guyetteandschmidt.com .
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