Early Redhead Drake George Augustus Peabody (1831-1929) Rig Danvers, MA, c. 1860 15 3/4 in. long
This very early and exceptional hollow redhead drake is from the rig of George A. Peabody, an older friend and fellow Harvard graduate of Dr. John C. Phillips (1876-1938).
The removable head is attached by three brass pins, one of which is threaded and held tight by a nut on the underside of the decoy. Matching "XXXI" incisions are on the facing surfaces inside the neck seam. This meticulously crafted removable head system is reminiscent of the dovetailed geese and shorebirds and the Osgood geese. The head is slightly turned and features broad cheeks and detailed bill carving. The long and hollowed body is finished with elaborate wing carving and fine paint. This decoy is perhaps the earliest known example to show this level of sophisticated wing carving.
The bottom board is securely affixed with both nails and screws and is twice branded "G. A. Origional paint with flaking, gunning wear, and a bill tip chip
Provenance: George A. Peabody Rig Ronald S. Swanson Collection
Literature: Ronald Swanson, “The Decoy as Folk Sculpture,” Cranbrook Academy of Art Exhibition Catalog, January 1987, p. 15, fig. 19, exact decoy illustrated. John C. Phillips, "Wenham Lake Shooting Record And The Farm Bag, 1897-1925," 1926, p. 4.
Exhibited: Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, “The Decoy as Folk Sculpture,” Cranbrook Academy of Art, January 27-February 22, 1987.
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