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Dowitcher with Raised Primaries, A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952)

Dowitcher with Raised Primaries, A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952)

Item Description:

Dowitcher with Raised Primaries
A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952)
East Harwich, MA, c. 1915
11 1/4 in. long

An important, early, working Crowell dowitcher decoy displaying finely painted detail and intricate incised wing-tip carving. It is difficult to find early examples of this species by Crowell as he concentrated primarily on black-bellied plover and yellowlegs during the first quarter of the 20th century. While several related examples have surfaced over the years, this early decoy is one of the very few that features the maker's "dust jacket" style carving.

This decoy shows little wear, suggesting it was promptly retired to the shelf.
Excellent original paint, minimal touch-up to hairline neck crack and very end of wing tips.

Provenance: Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Collection

Literature: Robert H. Boyle, "With a Quack, Quack Here," Sports Illustrated, September 27, 1971, p. 51, exact decoy illustrated.
Laurence Sheehan, "The Birding Life," New York, NY, 2011, p. 92, exact decoy illustrated.Stephen B. O'Brien, Jr. and Chelsie W. Olney, "Elmer Crowell: Father of American Bird Carving,"Hingham, MA, 2018, exact decoy illustrated.
Paul A. Johnsgard, "The Bird Decoy: An American Art Form," Lincoln, NE, 1976, back cover and p. 161, rigmate illustrated.
Laurence Sheehan, "The Sporting Life," New York, NY, 1992, p. 80, exact decoy illustrated.


Condition report requests can be made via email or by telephone ( or 617.536.0030). 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.

$ 30000.00 ( Sold Price )


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Listed price: $40,000.00

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Dowitcher with Raised Primaries, A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952)

Listed price: $40,000.00

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