Great Blue Heron "Confidence" Decoy

Collection Type

  • Decorative arts

Date

1880-1900

GUSN

GUSN-3384

Description

In the form of a full-bodied (premature) heron, made in three pieces. Its knobby neck is set into an oblong body. It is painted green and freely "dashed" and "slashed" with black and yellow painted eyes and bill. A cut-off broom handle is used for the stand and a rough hewn block for the base.

Details

Descriptive Terms

decoys
wood (plant material)
carving (processes)
painting (coating)
root (plant material)
Wood
Root
Carved
Painted
Decoy

Inscription

A typed paper label on the base reads: E-9-Great Blue Heron decoy used at Hay Barn near Picton, Ont./Maker Unknown but dates back to late 1800's, or early 1900's./Been shaped from a root and was mortised into the body in an unusual/way. The neck shows the mark of the rasp used/by the carver, and/indicates the possibility that he intended to carve the lumpy/minnow-in-the-throat look that some makers sought./Mackey, Pp.54-55, ""American Bird Decoys"" says that heron decoys/were carved to attract herons, as they made good eating, and that/they were not made as ""Confidence Decoys"", as others claim.

Associated Building

Original to Cogswell's Grant (Essex, Mass.),

Maker

Unknown

Location of Origin

Picton, ON, Canada

Dimensions

24 x 29 (HxW) (inches)

Credit Line

Gift of Bertram K. and Nina Fletcher Little

Accession Number

1991.1168