Dovetailed Feeding Yellowlegs
Mark S. McNair (b. 1950)
Craddockville, VA, c. 1996
14 1/2 in. long
Lots 313- 324 are part of The Barrie and Bernice Stavis Collection of Mark McNair Decoys
Barrie Stavis (1906-2007) was a distinguished American playwright who dedicated his career to addressing fundamental issues of the human condition. Stavis’s works, viewed by millions worldwide, have been translated into over twenty-eight languages and produced by dozens of major theaters around the world as well as numerous universities. Bernice Coe, or BC Stavis, (1919-2001) also had a very accomplished career as a pioneering executive in the film and television industry. Barrie and Bernice shared many loves, including sailing on their treasured wooden sailboat and hunting for decoys on Long Island.
“It started with a letter, which is appropriate enough for a man of letters. Barrie had discovered one of my pintails at a show on Long Island around 1977. His letter so intrigued me that I responded and thus began a relationship that lasted over thirty years. He was a mentor, patron, antagonist, muse, pal, helper, counselor, but most of all a friend in the truest sense of the word. For this I’ll always be grateful. He liked to close with, ‘Be well, do good work, and don’t forget to write.’ –Mark McNair
Two important McNair-Stavis swan decoys currently reside at the Shelburne Museum in Vermont.
Displaying an extra level of intricacies for one of the maker’s best patrons, the “minnow-in-throat” head is attached to the body with a functioning dovetail joint. The inside of the joint is incised “1” and “BS” and is stamped “1996”. The underside of the featherweight body features a bone stick-hole-inlay and the maker’s signature. Original paint with minimal wear.
Provenance: The Barrie and Bernice Stavis Collection
Private Collection, by descent in the family
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