Duck Tales

So, as per usual, my internet perusing led me to discover a completely odd and random new interest. I won't bore you with the details, but one minute I was looking for new bedding and the next thing I know I was researching antique duck decoys. Yes, it's weird. BUT! Verrrry interesting. Growing up in the South, I've known plenty of hunters and sportsmen. 
It's a big part of the culture, and (from my rudimentary understanding) requires a certain dedication and skill. I think some men would almost say there is an art to it. (Apologies to anyone with major issues with hunting, just an opinion here!) But while delving into the world of duck decoys, I realize that these objects are actually a very American art form. It's kind of fascinating, really.

Decoy collecting is actually a very discerning and exceptionally expensive business. There are particular carvers sought out by collectors, and their work can cost (no joke) hundreds of thousands of dollars! The craftsmanship of some of these decoys is really lovely. They are definitely created with an artist's eye. According to Antique Roadshow (which I trust completely) A. Elmer Crowell is widely considered to be the best decoy maker ever; at a 2000 Sotheby's auction one of his Canadian Geese sold for $684,500, then sold again in 2007 along with a similar duck decoy for $1.1 million. EACH. Seriously. A wooden goose. 

This is a pair of $1 million fowl. $2.2 for the set. 

But what I love is that, contrary to many antique collectibles, duck decoys are actually supposed to show a little wear and tear. If the decoy looks too new, or too realistic it may call into question it's authenticity; if it shows a little wear, it shows that the decoy was actually functional equipment. I am not a gal that would ever want a house full of stuffed animal heads, but I think a set of these little guys would be cute perched on some shelves would be a really warm touch. 

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