A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952)
East Harwich, MA, c. 1910
12 1/2 in. long
A rare and important working Crowell dowitcher decoy displaying glass eyes, richly painted detail, and split-tail carving with painted primaries. It is challenging to find early examples of this species by Crowell as he concentrated primarily on black-bellied plover and yellowlegs during the first quarter of the 20th century.
Acutely describing a similar shorebird carving in his book, "American Wildfowl Decoys," Jeff Waingrow writes, "Crowell's dowitcher decoy is a transitional carving, displaying the virility of his earlier work with a measure of new refinement found in the later examples. It possesses enough of the best qualities from each period, however to deserve a place among the finer examples of Crowell shorebirds."
Outstanding original paint with minor gunning wear, including a rub to the wing tip. Reset crack in original bill.
Literature: Copley Fine Art Auctions, "The Winter Sale 2013," New York, NY, January 21, 2013, lot 215, exact decoy illustrated.
Paul A. Johnsgard, "The Bird Decoy: An American Art Form," Lincoln, NE, 1976, p. 20 B, similar decoy illustrated.
Jeff Waingrow, "American Wildfowl Decoys," New York, NY, 1989, p. 97, similar example illustrated.
Brian Cullity, "The Songless Aviary: The World of A.E. Crowell & Son," Sandwich, MA, 1992, p. 49, pl. 1, similar bird illustrated.
Stephen B. O’Brien Jr. and Chelsie W. Olney, "Elmer Crowell: Father of American Bird Carving," Hingham, MA, 2019, p. 213, related dowitcher illustrated.
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