Published: January 21, 2003
Guyette & Schmidt, Christie’s, and the Aitken Decoy Collection Yields $2.8 Million and a New Record
NEW YORK CITY — Numerous record prices, including a world record price paid at auction, were established during the Russell Aitken Wildfowl Decoys auction at Christie’s on Saturday, January 18. The auction, conducted in association with Guyette and Schmidt, went 100 percent sold with the 365 lots grossing an impressive $2,833,568.
The star of the sale was the Elmer Crowell preening pintail drake that fetched a record price paid at auction of $801,500, selling to sporting dealer Stephen O’Brien Jr. This is the second time the decoy has established a record price paid at auction as in 1986 Aitken purchased the decoy at a Maine auction for $319,000, a record that stood for 11 years.
The recently eclipsed record price was also for a Crowell decoy, a sleeping Canada goose, purchased by O’Brien at Sotheby’s in 2000.
Other top lots at Christie’s included a rare pair of Lothrop Holmes merganser decoys selling at $394,500, a Lothrop Holmes black-bellied plover shorebird at $77,675, an Elmer Crowell flying drake wall plaque $59,750, a Crowell ruddy turnstone shorebird $59,750, and a Gus Wilson merganser realized $47,800.
A complete review will appear in a future issue.
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