Goldeneye Drake Benjamin Holmes (1843-1912) Stratford, CT, c. 1880 14 in. long
This is one of the most important Holmes decoys to come to market; the underside bears the Mackey Collection ink stamp and an "A. D. SANFORD" brand. Sanford had numerous Holmes decoys in his Saugatuck River rig.
This charming example was illustrated in Charles E. "Shang" Wheeler's chapter of Eugene V. Connett’s 1947 masterwork “Duck Shooting Along the Atlantic Tidewater.” In addition to Wheeler, numerous prominent figures in the early decoy and sporting art community contributed to this volume, which includes chapters written by A. Elmer Crowell and Lynn Bogue Hunt. In working Wheeler paint with even gunning wear and touch-up to bill tip.
Provenance: A. D. Sanford Rig William J. Mackey, Jr. Collection Ronald S. Swanson Collection
Literature: Henry C. Chitwood, "Connecticut Decoys," West Chester, PA, 1987, p. 42, exact decoy illustrated. Eugene V. Connett, ed., "Duck Shooting Along the Atlantic Tidewater," New York, NY, 1947, p. 68, exact decoy illustrated. Richard A. Bourne Co., Inc., "Very Rare and Important American Bird Decoys from the Collection of the late William J. Mackey, Jr. of Belford, New Jersey," Hyannis, MA, Sessions I & II, 1973, lot 525, exact decoy illustrated.
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