The top lot of Decoys Unlimited annual summer auction, which took in about $1.3 million at the Cape Codder Hotel and Conference Center July 26′7, was an early Canada goose by George Boyd.
Auctioneer Ted Harmon said the decoy hammered at $95,000, nearly double its estimate. The final sale price, after the 15 percent buyer’s premium, was $109,250.
The early 1900s decoy by the Seabrook, N.H.-carver has a hissing posture, with a crooked neck and is the same decoy featured on the cover of Jim Cullen’s definitive Boyd reference book, Finely Carved and Nicely Painted. It came to the auction from the collection of the late Winthrop and Margaret “Scotty” Carter.
Also performing solidly at this auction was a Ward Brothers black duck in near mint dry original paint, that fetched the second best price of the sale, hammering at $85,000 (final price: $97,750).
Harmon noted the decoy set a new world auction record for a “bishop’s head club” black duck, surpassing the record price set two years ago when a black duck from the same rig, in excellent condition, sold for $57,000.
This decoy, with its head slightly turned to the right, was in the collection of a Massachusetts antiques dealer for decades.
Both decoys were sold on the first day of the auction. A complete review of the auction will appear in a future issue. ⁁VV