Antique Duck Decoys

Duck Decoys

Duck decoys
Duck decoys
Duck decoys have been used for thousands of years. Hunters made their decoys using bulrush, cattail, reed, and what ever they could use that would float. They molded these items into a sculpture of a bird floating in the water, and decorated some of them with real feathers of the type of bird they were going to hunt. In North America, decoys have been found that dated back 2,000 years, where they are now displayed at the Smithsonian Museum. Other decoys have been found in Egypt that was even older. Originally, duck decoys were not considered to be an art at all; they were created as a tool to help the hunter attract his prey more efficiently.

Antique duck decoy collections have been around since the early 1900′s when Joel Barber, a New York architect first published his book, “Wild Fowl Decoys”. Since then, antique decoys have become so popular that many magazines have been published, many organizations have been formed and specialty books have been written.

If you are interested in collecting antique duck decoys, whether it is for their beauty, the folk art, or the investment that you will have from acquiring these magnificent replicas, there are certain things you need to know.

In the 1800′s, duck decoys were made with glass eyes, and were painted with dull, exact details of the sort of duck that the hunter was trying to stalk. They used anchors to hold the decoy upright and a pull string to make one or two of the decoys move in the water.

Some of the earlier duck decoy manufacturers put the company logo on the bottom of each decoy that was made. Even if you found an old decoy, you should always check the condition it is in before it can be determined as an antique. If it has dents, or bad gashes in it, this will determine its value. There are many duck decoy manufacturers today that carry some of the finest decoys ever made. These include movers that swim around in a circle using battery operated systems, and shakers that just make waves in the water. Together in a flock like resemblance, one can hardly tell that they are fake. The standard size of a decoy is about 15 inches, and can be made from foam, plastic, cork, and wood.

There are many websites on the internet that make it possible to buy antique duck decoys. It would be a good idea, before you start buying antiques, you should purchase one of the many antique duck price lists that are available from one of these websites. You should research all that you can to be knowledgeable enough to know what the value of each antique duck decoy is as well as the history of it.

If you are looking for antique duck decoys, you might start searching the local yard sales, flee markets, your local antique stores, a neighbors barn, and of course you can purchase them from private collectors. When buying from flee markets and yard sales, remember to check the bottom for a manufacturer’s stamp, and take into account the ware and damage that it has been through, after all these years.

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