Important Turned-Head Carriage House Pintail Drake
Lacon, IL c. 1890
This hollow decoy with its cranked head and exceptional paint is one of the finest Carriage House rig decoys known to exist. The rig was found in a carriage house on the Ernest Lehmann estate, in Lake Villa, Illinois. While the maker has yet to be identified, the carving closely resembles the work of Stephen Lane (1843-1900) of Lacon, Illinois. Lane is one of the earliest recorded Midwestern decoy makers. He was also a talented woodworker who professionally constructed everything from houses to wagons to furniture. Born in Good Luck, New Jersey, his family moved to a farm in Lacon, Illinois, while he was in his teens. The farm was near prime duck hunting habitat and it did not take Lane long to immerse himself in the growing market gunning movement. His carvings are highly unusual for Illinois River decoys in that no nails were used in attaching the body halves together. The halves were made to fit so perfectly that only glue was needed at the body seam. This carriage house bird has no nails at its body seam. Lane decoys have elegantly carved heads with Excellent original paint with gunning wear and restoration to end of bill and broken neck. Original weight.
PROVENANCE: Private Collection, Martha's Vineyard, acquired from David Schorsch, 1995
LITERATURE: Stephen O'Brien, Jr. and Julie Carlson, "Masterworks of the Illinois River," Boston, MA, 2005, p. 25.
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