Bishop's Head Canada Goose The Ward Brothers Lemuel T. (1896-1983) and Stephen (1895-1976) Crisfield, MD, c. 1936 26 1/2 in. long
“…the reputation of Lem and Steve spread throughout the Chesapeake region, and they produced decoys for gunners in the Upper Bay as well. A few of the gunning clubs ordered Ward decoys, and in some cases a particular Ward style became associated with a specific club. One example is the Canada goose model carved for the Bishops Head Gun Club of Dorchester County.” – C. John Sullivan, "Waterfowling on the Chesapeake, 1819-1936"
A classic and distinct goose decoy from the rig of the Bishop's Head Gun Club. This group of decoys was the result of the owner of the club, Colonel Albanus Phillips (1871-1949), and the Ward brothers sitting down and designing wooden replacements for his recently outlawed live goose decoys. This product of their collaboration exhibits additional carved bill detail and a long-reaching neck, portraying a goose swimming. The Wards appear to have maintained a relationship with the club, providing additional decoys and maintenance to the rig over time.
Of the numerous goose patterns produced by the Ward brothers, the Bishop's Head Gun Club model is the most coveted. This decoy exhibits a long, reaching neck in a swimming position, deep wing delineation behind the neck, and highly defined carving under the tail. It also features full cheek carving, articulated bill profile, and crescent-shaped cheek delineation. Mix of original and working paint with gunning wear and some recent touch-up.
Literature: Ronald J. Gard and Brian J. McGrath, "The Ward Brothers' Decoys: A Collector's Guide," Wolfe City, TX, 1989, p. 112, rigmates illustrated. Robert H. Richardson, "Chesapeake Bay Decoys: The Men Who Made and Used Them," Burtonsville, MD, 1991, p. 182, rigmate illustrated. C. John Sullivan, "Waterfowling on the Chesapeake, 1819-1936," Baltimore, MD, 2003.
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