Nearly 1,000 decoys and related items from throughout the United States, Canada and the Atlantic Provinces performed well at Decoy’s Unlimited annual summer auction conducted Monday and Tuesday, July 30 and 31. Interest in the decorative carvings and working decoys by Elmer Crowell continued to bring substantial prices, garnering the highest prices paid here, as well as at other decoy and sporting sales throughout the area.
A rare merganser hen by Crowell in a pulled-back head pose was in excellent original condition and it attracted the attention of collectors. “Best bird in the sale,” commented one collector during preview, and the prediction rang true as it surpassed the $25/35,000 estimates, bringing $52,325.
A couple of Massachusetts shorebirds also brought strong prices, with a Lathrop Holmes feeding yellowlegs bringing $46,000, while a yellowlegs in a sleeping tucked-head pose by Melvin Gardner Lawrence realized $34,500.
A complete review of the auction will appear in a future issue.