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Fat-Jaw Humpback Beavertail Goldeneye, The Ward Brothers

Fat-Jaw Humpback Beavertail Goldeneye, The Ward Brothers

Item Description:

Fat-Jaw Humpback Beavertail Goldeneye
The Ward Brothers
Lemuel T. (1896-1984) and Stephen (1895-1976)
Crisfield, MD, c. 1918
15 1/4 in. long

This decoy displays all of the features that collectors of early Ward decoys and folk art look for. The fat-jaw style head is turned to the side and gazes skyward. The body has a humped back and a turned beaver-tail.

Original paint on a Ward decoy of this age is exceedingly rare. Lem’s original paint here shows a stylish design and appealing surface. With all of these original features, this ranks as one of the best early Ward goldeneye decoys known to exist.

In describing a related pair from the Ronald Gard Collection, author Bob Shaw writes, “These early Ward goldeneyes, called ‘fatjaws’ by collectors are an example of Steve Ward’s ability to capture the essence of a species’ form through stylized exaggeration.” Original paint with craquelure and gunning wear.

Provenance: Collectable Old Decoys
Herb Wetanson Collection

Literature: Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, "Timeless Treasures: Ward Brothers Decoys," Salisbury, MD, 2007, pp. 17-18, exact decoy illustrated twice.
Robert Shaw, "Bird Decoys of North America," New York, NY, 2010, pp. 16-17 and 58, related example illustrated.
Ronald J. Gard and Brian J. McGrath, "The Ward Brothers' Decoys: A Collector's Guide," Plano, TX, 1989, pl. 22 and 23, p. 32, related examples illustrated.
Adele Earnest, "The Art of the Decoy: American Bird Carvings," New York, NY, 1965, p. 181, pl. 157, related example illustrated.

Exhibited: Salisbury, Maryland, "Timeless Treasures: Ward Brothers Decoys," The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, August 31 - November 11, 2007.


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.

$ 66000.00 ( Sold Price )



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