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June 2007

DECOYS... Cont'd. from previous pg.

and is a legend among decoy collectors. Attendees listened as Tonelli pointed out various great decoys that were stacked in every corner of Mackey's home. Alan Haid, author Decoys of the Mississippi Flyway, presented a survey of the top decoy makers along the Mississippi Flyway from Canada to Louisiana utilizing an excellent slide show that projected on a large screen decoy examples from each major decoy producing regions within the Flyway. Ed Wojciechowski who is active within a splinter group of decoy collectors that gather at each decoy show to share information and decoys produced by the Walter Evans Decoy Factory, Ladysmith, Wisconsin, presented an in-depth study on the Evans decoy line. His program included an illustrated Evans decoy handout. A major highlight of the MDCA convention is the Guyette & Schmidt Spring Decoy Auction, which brings 600+ decoy and related wildlife art to be sold. Wednesday evening of the convention G&S hosted an auction preview allowing prospective buyers to view and handle the items up for sale. This is a unique opportunity for any collector to see and hold highly collectible decoys. Most of the country's top decoys are at this preview and they are always willing to answer questions about particular decoys. It is a wonderful learning experience for anyone interested in waterfowling. The 2-day auction that followed was outstanding and the second highest in gross sales a t $5,100,000. N a m e s most Illinois hunter will recognize: Charles Perdew mallard hen sleeper $256,000. Bert Graves canvasback p a i r $17,250. Robert Elliston b l u e -

winged teal hen, $2,4150. Charles Walker mallard drake (Watson/ Lawton rig), $28,650. A surprising element of this auction was the sales results of the Lake Chautauqua (NY) fish decoys. Most sold in the 5 figures including a few over $20,000. Friday evening and Saturday exhibitors set up in the Pheasant Run Mega Center. There were over 350 display tables open for general public viewing including vintage & contemporary decoys, duck & game calls, wildlife art & photography and previews for G&S Summer auction, Decoys Unlimited Auction Company sale and Copley Fine Sporting Arts upcoming auction. The MDCA sponsors a special exhibition of decoys each year. This year Pre-1930 Wooden Factory Decoys excluding the Mason Decoy Factory were featured in glass showcases all through out the show. Ken Trayer, author North American Factory Decoys, juried the exhibition drawing pristine decoys from various private collections. All show attendees were asked to vote for their favorite decoy in the exhibit: 1st place Dodge merganser drake, 2nd Stevens mallard drake. The free appraisal service offered by the MDCA board is becoming more and more popular...a miniature `antique road show' that several folks took advantage of. Any one who is interested in selling the decoys they bring in for evaluation can offer them for sale through a silent auction service that is open to anyone attending the show. This year there were several nice items sold this way. One gentleman brought 3 Perdew calls that he purchased directly from Charlie, which were sold for a total of $6,650; a fancy carved duck call with flying mallards, a St. Francis duck call with matching initials and a red cedar crow call. Gary

Koehler who writes for Duck Unlimited Magazine won the bid on two mallard drakes by Charles Gisler, Peru, Illinois. An Elliston blue-wing teal was among the other decoys that sold. All-in-all the buyers and sellers were happy. The silent auction system works well giving everyone at the show a chance to buy any bird that came available via the free appraisals and the seller gets a fair price for his bird. But not all items brought in for appraisal ended up in the silent auction. The owner of a rare Elliston redhead in excellent condition was advised to take his decoy over to the Guyette & Schmidt booth. It will be sold in their upcoming auction with an estimated value of $15,000. This decoy was carried up to the appraisal booth in a box with several other `junker decoys'. When Joe Tonelli it out of the bottom of the box he told the older gentleman: "You hit the jackpot!" Alan Haid had the pleasure of appraising another group of decoys that included a rig of 15 Perdew decoys with a rare early gadwall decoy and a black duck, all in original condition. Anyone who would like to see more coverage of the MDCA show and Guyette & Schmidt auction can visit my website. I have several slide shows posted on these events. Hope you will all join in the fun next year!


SEMI-GUIDED, ARCHERY ONLY, WHITETAIL HUNTS: OCT. 1-MID JAN. GETAWAYS FOR THE NATURE ENTHUSIASTS AVAILABLE: FEB.-SEPT. Over 4,000 acres available to hunt deer and turkey. We use trail cameras to monitor our deer travel, and also scout so that the hunter has the best opportunity for a trophy!

P.O. Box 66 · Donnellson, IL 62019 · E-mail: [email protected]


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