One of the following Duck Decoys recently sold for $ 207,000. Another is worth $26,000, and a third is valued at $250.
The first decoy pictured above is an early bufflehead drake decoy, made around 1910-1912 by the renowned carver A. E. (Elmer) Crowell (Mass., 1862-1952). It is the highest-graded bufflehead drake by Crowell ever offered, and one of only two known in such a high pristine grade. It Realized $207, 000 on July 28th, at a summer decoy auction by Decoys Unlimited on Cape Cod. The second is a Broadbill Drake Duck Decoy attributed to Charlie Bryan, Middle River, MD, circa 1940, with remains of original paint. It sold for $275. The third is an extremely rare museum quality Hollow Brant decoy from the mid to late 1800’s by William “Bill” Bowman with recessed sockets fitted with taxidermy quality glass eyes. It sold for $26,500.
Just as in fine art, prices for decoys are driven by the desirability of the artist, the rarity of their work, how strong an example of their work the particular piece is, its condition, its age, and the provenance (ownership history) of the piece, among other things. In order to realize the full value of the piece at auction, it also must be placed correctly --in a well- advertised auction with strong buyers of this particular type of antique.
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