The McCleery Baruch Mallard Pair
Mason Decoy Factory (1896-1924)
Detroit, MI, c. 1920
20 1/4 in. long
In addition to the famous snakey-neck Caines Brothers mallard drake, Dr. James McCleery owned this grand mallard pair, also from the esteemed Hobcaw Barony Rig. In The McCleery Auction, Alan Haid reflects on the Doctor’s “... Mason Collection, certainly the finest in existence…” which “...encompassed a wide variety of the Company’s offerings, including the most rare.” Indeed, along with McCleery’s premier Mason wood duck drake, these are the only pair of their kind to come to light.
The McCleery Auction catalog reports that “This pair of decoys was found on the mantle of the Bernard Baruch family’s ‘Hobcaw Barony’ in South Carolina and are the only ones known to exist. It is believed that Mr. Baruch special ordered these decoys.”
One of the rarest and most important Mason pairs to ever come to market. Outstanding original paint with minimal wear, minor touch-up to necks, and a few spots on body of hen.
Provenance: Bernard Baruch Rig, Hobcaw Barony, South Carolina
Dr. James M. McCleery Collection
Herb Wetanson Collection
Literature: Sotheby's and Guyette and Schmidt, "American Waterfowl Decoys: The Distinguished Collection of Dr. James M. McCleery," New York, NY, 2000, p. 117, lot 260, exact decoys illustrated.
Robert Shaw, ed., "The McCleery Auction," Dallas, TX, 2001, p. 103, exact hen illustrated with Alan Haid and the consignor.
Russ J. Goldberger and Alan Haid, "Mason Decoys: A Pictorial Guide," Lewes, DE, 1993, no oversize mallards illustrated.
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