Published: February 20, 2018
CHARLESTON, S.C. — Once again celebrating wildlife art and the sporting life, the 2018 edition of the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) presented a three-day showcase, February 15–17, devoted to wildlife and nature. What better time to bring together sportsmen and conservationists, decoy collectors and sporting art fans for a winter sale.
Copley Fine Art gave these folks an opportunity to see and take home paintings and bird carvings at a February 16 auction conducted at the American Theater, located in the Design District of Upper King Street.
“The Winter Sale 2018 grossed $1.75 million with all eight cover lots finding willing buyers. An abundance of new bidders showed continuing strength in both the decoy and sporting art fields,” said Copley’s Stephen O’Brien Jr.
Top lot in the sale was the Elmer Crowell turned-head “dust jacket” plover, which beat its $75/95,000 estimate to take $156,000.
Widely credited with being the father of American bird carving, Crowell’s influence on all future carvers cannot be overstated. His “dust jacket” plovers have long been viewed by folk art and decoy collectors, and museum curators, to be among the finest decoys and American sculpture ever made. A very similar example to this lot is in the collection of the American Folk Art Museum and was recently exhibited in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
In the marketplace, this cover-lot was the number two shorebird at auction in 1992, and a closely related Crowell feeding plover holds the record for any shorebird decoy.
A full report on this sale will be forthcoming.
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