AE Crowell's bufflehead drake to make $200,000?

A bufflehead drake by AE Crowell (1862-1952) is to lead Guyette & Deeter's November 10 Decoy and Sporting Art Auction in Easton, Maryland.

It's an important example of Crowell's work and carries an estimate of $100,000-200,000.

Crowell decoy Guyette
Crowell's decoys are in a class of their own

Crowell is widely regarded as the greatest decoy carver of all time.

A lifelong resident of East Harwich, Massachusetts, he began carving after the use of live decoys was banned by the US government.

Decoy specialist Stephen O'Brien once described him as "Cezanne in the field of waterfowl carving".

He holds the all-time record for the most valuable decoy lot ever sold - $1.1m for a preening pintrail drake and a Canadian goose.

The piece offered in the sale was produced in the early 20th century, when Crowell was at the peak of his abilities.

A rare humpback style pintail hen by the Ward Brothers (produced in the 1920s) is valued at $125,000-150,000.

The auction house describes it as "one of the very finest and most important Ward Brothers decoys known."

Like Crowell, the Ward Brothers are among the most important decoy carvers in the American tradition.

Both were barbers by trade and began carving when business was slow at their shop.

A pair of mallards in their distinctive style made $90,000 at Guyette & Deeter in July this year.

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