Centennial Broadbill Hen Benjamin Holmes (1843-1912) Stratford, CT, 1876 13 in. long
This exact decoy is illustrated in Charles E. "Shang" Wheeler's chapter in the 1947 masterwork "Duck Shooting Along the Atlantic Tidewater." Prior to that, explains decoy historian Robert Shaw, “Benjamin Holmes participated in what is considered to be the first recorded public exhibition of decoys which occurred at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition where he showed a rig of 12 bluebills." This seminal exhibition inspired the name of this "Centennial Rig." Old working repaint with light gunning wear and flaking around bill.
Provenance: Ronald S. Swanson Collection
Literature: Eugene V. Connett, ed., "Duck Shooting Along the Atlantic Tidewater," New York, NY, 1947, pp. 72-73, exact decoy illustrated. Ronald Swanson, “The Decoy as Folk Sculpture,” Cranbrook Academy of Art Exhibition Catalog, January 1987, p. 19, fig. 26, exact decoy illustrated.
Exhibited: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, “The Decoy as Folk Sculpture,” Cranbrook Academy of Art, January 27-February 22, 1987.
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