Help with duck decoys

jtw1313

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Can anyone help with age and information on these. One has a slit across it anyone know why?
 

Charlie P. (NY)

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I'm guessing the slit is because the wood got soaked and dried out so often that it warped and the layers separated. The head is one piece of wood and the body two planks together.
 
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Anduril

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The slit might be used to hold a rope.

You know, to keep all your ducks in a row. :)
 
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crashbandicoot

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Check out the grain in the wood.I don,t think it would separate against the grain.I believe anduril has it right,that,s where you would wrap the anchor cord when retrieving your McCoys.
 
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Megalodon

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Originals like these have that authentic feel to them that is more appealing to me than the modern repros. Nice find. I'd estimate first quarter of 20th century, so about 100 years old IMO.
 
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DCMatt

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I'm guessing the slit is because the wood got soaked and dried out so often that it warped and the layers separated. The head is one piece of wood and the body two planks together.

I agree with Charlie. It just has a quack in it.
 
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Surf_Pirate

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I believe the slit is from 2 pieces top and bottom.
 
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Megalodon

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Just as with coins, I think the patina adds to their appeal. I would neither clean them further nor re-paint etc.

I have no idea what makes one old decoy worth $100 (about the minimum here-abouts) and another worth nearly $1M. Certainly the maker, age, rarity, subject, quality and state of preservation are important. There are decoy shows just like there are coin shows but I have never been to one. I just may attend one and maybe learn something.

If you have a way to display them, I think that is what I would do. A handmade decoy is more interesting to me than a machine made oyster can - which many of my friends collect and display.

Thanks for posting them!
 
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Megalodon

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I agree with Charlie. It just has a quack in it.

When I say something like this, I get the eye-roll from my wife!
 
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releventchair

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Not saying your separated one relates...But have seen patterns using two sections of plank.
That allows building up a deke from thinner stock. An economic thing and convenience. Cured/kilned stock vs a greener block that can check and crack.
I'm going from faint memory but thinking 2" thick stock was used.
The lower section in the designs I saw used Styrofoam in the bottom piece. (The lower piece was cut into an oval basically, with it's center/inside of the oval hollowed.)
After sandwiching the upper and lower halves , a head was cut out from the same dimensional stock.
 
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Garscale

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Those are awesome. I bet Johnny Morris at BassPro/Cabellas would love to have them. Leave them just as they are.
 
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DCMatt

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When I say something like this, I get the eye-roll from my wife!

I get the eye roll from my kids. But I tell them it's an obligatory "dad joke". I can't NOT say it. It's my job... Not sorry.
 
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Surf_Pirate

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Oh please do not try to clean.. Leave as is and do not send to Cabelas. I know collectors rather have them in a collection and to display at decoy festivals...
 
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