e"> "Close Cart"

Jolley Rig Mallard Drake Decoy, Charles Walker (1873-1954)

Jolley Rig Mallard Drake Decoy, Charles Walker (1873-1954)

Item Description:

Charles Walker (1873-1954)
Princeton, IL, c. 1945
17 1/4 in. long

This elegant, hollow Illinois River decoy hails from the Clifford Jolley Rig. It features a slightly turned head with pronounced cheeks, a tall neck, and the maker’s finest feather-combed paint. The underside retains a painted number "8" and “Jolley” rig designation, an incised "JL" for early collector John Lellos, and a "Kirson Collection" paper label.

Jolley, who commissioned the bird, was a member of the Princeton Game and Fish Club and owned a nearby lumber mill. He supplied Walker with perfectly milled and seasoned boards and his rigs, which consisted of pintails and mallards, are known for their exceptional condition.

“When members of the club left or passed away their decoys descended to the next incoming member. Unfortunately, members of the Princeton Fish & Game Club were notorious for maintaining their decoys in perfect condition. Decoys were often repainted at the end of each season and the birds with broken bills or birds that leaked during the season were discarded into a pile near the boat landing. The large pile that accumulated, often comprised of Walker, Perdew, and Elliston decoys, was hauled off at the end of each season to be burned.”

- "Masterworks of the Illinois River" Stephen O'Brien, Jr. and Julie Carlson

Original paint with minor gunning wear, including some touch-up around left eye.

Provenance: Clifford Jolley Rig

John Lellos Collection

Alan Haid Collection

James R. Doherty Collection

Donald Kirson Collection

Literature: Stephen O'Brien, Jr. and Julie Carlson, "Masterworks of the Illinois River," Boston, MA, 2005, p. 60, rigmate illustrated.

William J. Mackey Jr., "American Bird Decoys," New York, NY, 1965, p. 185, pl. 149, related example 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.

$ 6500.00 ( Sold Price )



Check out our auctions with similar lots.