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The Blum Standing Wood Duck

The Blum Standing Wood Duck

Item Description:

The Blum Standing Wood Duck
Maine, c. 1890
17 in. long

The drake wood duck form has appealed to decoy acquisitors since the inception of decoy collecting over a century ago. It was for this reason that author Loy Harrell chose a standing wood duck form for the cover of his "One Hundred Greatest" book. The Blum Standing wood duck, with its striking lines, original surface, singularity, and provenance, embodies all that collectors seek.

Few wood duck carvings have excited decoy or folk art collectors over the last fifty years as much as this perching duck. The one-of-a-kind decoy was source collected by Dr. Barton M. Blum of East Holden, Maine. Dr. Blum, along with William J. Mackey, Jr., was a part of New Jersey's "old guard" collecting group. In 1959, Blum moved to Maine where he continued to put together a diverse decoy collection from all regions. His Maine birds included fine examples by Gus Wilson, Willie Ross, Eben Weed Eaton (attr.), and this standing wood duck drake.

In 1983 the Blum Collection was auctioned off at Oliver's first auction, held in Bangor, Maine. The standing wood duck was acquired at the auction by Bud Ward on behalf of Dr. James M. McCleery, MD, as the top lot in the auction.

Describing the Blum Collection auction and this exact decoy, the May-June 1983 edition of "The Decoy Hunter Magazine" reports, "They came from everywhere. Over 700 decoy collectors arrived at Kennebunk, Maine on March, 6th to participate in the decoy sale of the Bart Blum collection. Bart Blum was from East Holden, Maine and his collection was by many who attended one of the finest...An outstanding wood duck drake with original paint, possibly used as a stickup decoy, stole the show with the top price..."

The decoy exhibits exceptionally fine form with raised wing tips and a dramatic turned head. The bird was fashioned as both a floater and a stick-up. At the time the decoy sold in 1983, Jackson Parker of "Decoy Magazine" wrote, "Blum had illustrated this rare bird in the DCG [Decoy Collectors Guide] article with the caption that referred to his seeing a similar black duck stick-up decoy near Reed State Park, which should become a popular area for decoy collectors after this sale."

The graceful head fits the body with a round mortise-and-tennon joint. This allows it to be displayed in multiple positions and to be removed for easy transport to and from the field.
Original paint with even gunning wear, some chipping to neck base and right wing tip, and the bill appears to be an early replacement.

Provenance: Dr. Barton M. Blum Collection, acquired c. 1965
Dr. James M. McCleery, MD, Collection, acquired from the sale of the above, 1983
Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Collection

Literature: Barton M. Blum, "Maine Coast Decoys," Decoy Collector's Guide, Jan-Mar 1965, p. 3, exact decoy illustrated.
"The Decoy Hunter," May-June 1983, p. 9, exact decoy illustrated.
Jackson L. Parker, "Maine decoy auction makes history," Decoy Magazine, Spring 1983, p. 25, 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.

$ 50000.00 ( Sold Price )


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Listed price: $40,000.00

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The Blum Standing Wood Duck

Listed price: $40,000.00

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