Mason old squaw drake decoy estimated to make $12,500

An old squaw drake produced in the Mason Decoy Factory in Detroit in 1905 is to headline an auction at Guyette, Schmidt and Deeter on February 14 with a $9,500-12,500 estimate.

The auction house reports that the standard grade decoy, the third highest grade produced, was recently discovered on Michigan's South Shore.

Mason decoy Guyette Schmidt
The Mason Decoy Factory produced thousands of decoys between 1896-1924

The factory was in operation between 1896 and 1924, and produced thousands of decoys, with premier graded examples regularly achieving impressive figures at auction today.

In 2000, a wood duck drake from the collection of Dr James McCleery made $354,500 at Sotheby's New York - a record for a Mason decoy.

A classic dowitcher made by William Bowman (1824-1906) carries an estimate of $8,000-12,000.

Bowman worked the winter as a cabinet maker in Maine, spending his summers hunting and carving on Long Island.

A curlew is the current holder of Bowman's auction record. It sold in 1973 for $10,500, later realising $464,500 in the McCleery sale in 2000 - equating to growth of 15% pa.

A rare greenwing teal drake made by the Ward brothers in Crisfield, Maryland in 1936 is also valued at $8,000-12,000.

The brothers are estimated to have carved up to 40,000 decoys over the course of their careers and are considered among the most respected makers.

In 2006 their record was set at $109,250 for a swimming goldeneye at Guyette, Schmidt and Deeter.

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