Published: May 17, 2011
Guyette & Schmidt, Inc conducted its 26th annual spring decoy auction on April 28 and 29 at the Pheasant Run Resort. The auction was presented in conjunction with the National Antique Decoy & Sporting Collectibles Show and grossed $2.1 million, within estimate. The sale pushed the firm’s total auction sales to more than $127 million.
The crowd was quite large, with 290 registered bidders in the audience and another 286 people bidding by phone, absentee or online. Bidding battles for key decoys erupted continually as many items sold for three or four times their estimates. Prices were around mid-estimate, with 41 lots selling for more than $10,000 each and two items selling for more than $100,000 each.
Top lot in the sale was a rare swan by Charles Birch (Willis Wharf, Va.). It sold over estimate for $186,500, a world auction record for Birch.
Virginia decoys were strong at the sale, with a black duck by Nathan Cobb Jr selling for twice its estimate at $53,475, a black duck by Ike Philips selling for $12,075 and a brant by Birch bringing $11,500.
Illinois River decoys brought strong prices, with a pair of blue-winged teals by Robert Elliston selling for $103,500, a canvasback by Charles Perdew for $24,725, a pair of mallards by Charles Perdew for $18,975 and a brant by Bert Graves selling at $13,800.
Mason Factory decoys brought high prices, with a swan selling for $38,525 and an early pair of premier grade mallards going over estimate at $23,000. Two shorebird decoys by John Dilley sold for $22,425 for a turnstone and $19,550 for a yellowlegs.
Prices reported include the buyer’s premium.
Guyette & Schmidt Inc’s next decoy sale will be July 19 and 20 at the Sheraton Harborside Hotel in Portsmouth, N.H. Consignments for the sale will be accepted until June 1 or until full. For information, 410-745-0485 or www.guyetteandschmidt.com .
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