Published: August 9, 2010
Guyette & Schmidt, Inc conducted its annual summer decoy auction on July 29 and 30 at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel. As was the case in the firm’s April auction (Guyette & Schmidt, Inc holds three decoy auctions per year), prices remained steady with the auction grossing $1.4 million and with 24 lots selling for over $10,000. Established in 1984, and specializing in antique duck, shorebird and fish decoys, fish carvings, waterfowl paintings and prints, duck calls and ammunition advertising, Guyette & Schmidt, Inc, is the largest decoy auction firm.
Frank Schmidt and Gary Guyette assembled more than 480 decoys and related items from collections and directly out of houses from all over the United States and Canada. Prices for Virginia decoys, Mason Factory decoys, decoratives by the Ward Brothers and Maine decoys were particularly strong. The sale featured decoys from the collections of Joseph French, William Walper III, E.K. Shaw and Dr John Levinson.
Top lot in the July sale was a classic widgeon drake by Joseph Lincoln, Hingham, Mass., which sold for $60,375. A rare redhead hen by Ira Hudson sold over estimate at $58,075. Two early slope-breasted decoys by the Mason Decoy Factory also sold over estimate: a bluebill and a pintail came in at $16,100 each. The auction was accompanied by a 50-table decoy show, with dealers from all over the United States.
A significant increase in Internet bidding was noted at this auction. Internet bidders have usually bid on less expensive items at Guyette & Schmidt, Inc auctions, but at this event Internet bidders participated on multi-thousand dollar items as well, resulting in over $87,000 in Internet sales.
Other highlights of the two-day auction included two Elmer Crowell, Cape Cod, Mass., decoys: a pair of redheads brought $22,425, and a rare decorative yellowlegs went to $28,750. Also going for $28,750 was a curlew from the Matthews Rig and a pair of pintails by Bert Graves.
Just out of a home in New Brunswick, N.J., a rare dowitcher by John Dilley, Quogue, N.Y., sold for $43,125; another dowitcher by Dilley, albeit not quite so rare, sold for $26,450.
A pair of mallards by Bernard Ohnmacht set an auction world record for an Indiana decoy when the pair sold for $5,922. A rare rigmate pair of mergansers by Keyes Chadwick, Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., sold over estimate at $19,550.
There were a number of pieces of sporting art offered in the sale, with many going over estimates. A circa 1925 oil on canvas by Henry Carling of a woman angler was caught by a bidder at $8,625.
All prices given include the buyer’s premium.
Guyette & Schmidt’s next decoy sale will be held on November 10 and 11 at the Talbot County Community Center in Easton, Md. The auction will be in conjunction with the Easton Waterfowl Festival and will have a 75-table decoy show. Another 100 venders sell decoys in the parking lot.
For more information, 410-745-0485 or http://www.guyetteandschmidt.com
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm