Unattributed eider drake decoy duck estimated to bring $500,000

A rare unattributed eider drake decoy duck will carry a $350,000-500,000 estimate to Sotheby's Important American auction in New York on January 24-25.

The lot is thought to have been produced circa 1900 on Mohegan Island in the state of Maine, although the maker remains unknown.

Eider drake Mohegan Island
The lot is thought to have been produced by an unknown carver in Maine circa 1900

Formerly the centrepiece of the Dr James M McCleery collection, regarded as one of the most significant decoy collections ever accumulated, the piece is one of the finest examples of its kind and has never before been offered at auction.

Its value lies in the carver's mastery of form, with the flowing lines of the body and paintwork leading to an impression of synergy.

A circa 1800 federal case clock, produced for Colonel Asa Stebbins (1767-1844), also features in the sale, valued at $150,000-250,000.

Aaron Willard clock Sotheby's
The clock was made for Colonel Asa Stebbins, a wealthy resident of Massachusetts

John Minott, a Boston-based decorative artist who regularly worked alongside other artisans, probably painted the clock face.

A comparable clock by Willard realised $253,000 in 2003 at Laundry Auctions in Massachusetts.

A canvaswork picture by Anna Woodbury is another highlight, valued at $150,000-250,000.

Produced in Boston circa 1748, the piece has descended within the artist's family and is offered in its original frame. The extraordinarily detailed work was executed in wool and silk, which has been stitched onto a linen background.

You can view some of our antiques for sale here.

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