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The Best Swimming Swan Decoy, James R. Best (1866-1933)

The Best Swimming Swan Decoy, James R. Best (1866-1933)

Item Description:

James R. Best (1866-1933)
Kitty Hawk, NC, c. 1910
26 in. long

Concerning an upright Best swan, Kroghie Andresen writes, "The form and shape are unmatched by other North Carolina carvers." Discussing the straight-head Best swan in the Museum of American Folk Art's decoy publication, Jeff Waingrow states, "The swan decoy by James R. Best ranks with the finest of this rare type." This is believed to be the only Best swimming swan known to exist.
Working repaint with gunning wear, lower part of bill replaced, old nails securing neck, age lines, and flaking.

Provenance: Davison B. Hawthorne Collection
Henry H. Stansbury Collection, acquired from the above

Literature: Kroghie Andresen, "Gunnin' Birds," Charlotte, NC, 2008, front and back dust jacket, and p. 300, related straight heads illustrated.

Hal Sorenson, "Decoy Collector’s Guide," Oct.-Dec. 1964, p. 21, related straight head illustrated.

Jeff Waingrow, "American Waterfowl Decoys," New York, NY, 1985, pp. 14-15, related straight head illustrated.


Please email condition report requests to Any condition statement given is a courtesy to customers, Copley will not be held responsible for any errors or omissions. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition.

$ 20,000.00 ( Low est. )
Lot 230 in The Sporting Sale 2019
AUCTION DATE: Jul 25, 2019 at 10:00am EDT


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Listed price: $20,000.00

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The Best Swimming Swan Decoy, James R. Best (1866-1933)

Listed price: $20,000.00

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