Antique mason duck decoy, cabin decor
Hummingbear Vintage features unique (often whimsical) vintage and antique decorative items from various parts of the world.
This is a beautiful, solid wood, working duck decoy, circa 1910. It measures approximately 16" long x 7" tall x 5.5" wide. I was told by a decoy dealer (and my own research would seem to confirm this) that the lure was made by the Mason Decoy Factory in Detroit. The company was in business from 1896 to 1924 and was one of the most successful and respected makers of realistic, handmade, commercial decoys.
This duck is a Standard Grade decoy, a line introduced by William Mason's son in 1905. The Standard grade ducks came in three varieties. The top #1 model had glass eyes, the #2 model had tack eyes, and the #3 had painted eyes. This lure is a Standard grade #1 model.
The decoy is in good antique condition, showing wear consistent with age and use. In addition to its glass eyes, the duck retains its strip ballast weight and anchor loop on the base. The paint is largely intact although there was likely an old working repaint at some point. There are scattered chips, scrapes and gouges, and areas of worn paint, most notably on and around the base and on top of the head. There are also some hairline cracks on the head and back and one wider crack on the base. The colors are particular lovely on this bird with subtle, overlapping shades of green/grey and grey/blue accented by black and the green details on the wings. Structurally the duck is very solid and the head, which would have been attached with a dowel and glued into the body, is on tight. Because of the weight, the duck does lean a bit to one side but this can easily be remedied with a small piece of reusable putty or even a pencil placed under one side of the base. (See photos for best idea of condition.)
This decoy is quite striking with a good deal of character and endless decorative possibilities. It would make a fine addition to any cabin, rustic abode, or decoy/duck collection. It would also make an original housewarming present, or gift for a hunter.
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