Black-Bellied Plover Matthews (b. 1855) Rig Plover Assawoman Island, VA, c. 1890 8 3/4 in. long
An important early shorebird decoy with raised wings, eye grooves, and pronounced cheeks. The underside bears a Mackey Collection stamp.
The Matthews rig was a dynamic group of carvings with shorebirds by several makers. It was hunted on Assawoman Island, which is located at the southern tip of what is now the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge. Original paint with gunning wear, and a very old replaced bill.
Provenance: William J. Mackey, Jr. Collection K. Barry and Janet Sharpless Collection, acquired from the auction of the above, 1974
Literature: Richard A. Bourne Co., Inc., "Very Rare and Important American Bird Decoys from the Collection of the late William J. Mackey, Jr. of Bedford, New Jersey," Hyannis, MA, Session VII, Tuesday, August 20, 1974, lot 60, exact decoy illustrated.
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