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The Earnest Verity Plover, Obediah Verity (1813-1901)

The Earnest Verity Plover, Obediah Verity (1813-1901)

Item Description:

The Earnest Verity Plover
Obediah Verity (1813-1901)
Seaford, Long Island, NY, c. 1880
10 1/2 in. long

“Verity’s most distinctive form is a feeding shorebird, with its bulbous head bent down and forward, its fixed eyes seemingly intent on some choice morsel before it. The outline of the bending form is a series of graceful unbroken curves that extend from the tip of the tail over and around all sides of the body, neck, and head.” -Robert Shaw, "Bird Decoys of North America"

This rare feeding plover was acquired directly from Adele Earnest. O'Brien noted this bird was Verity's "best style, best position." The bold design displays a deep feeding pose that perfectly captures the probing nature of the species. Highly unusual for the maker, the head is slightly turned to the right. The bird features everything that seasoned collectors look for in a Verity: carved eyes, raised S-curve wings, V-shape primaries, the maker’s best stippled paint, and impeccable provenance.
Original paint with traces of old working paint, gunning wear, some darkening to breast, replaced bill, and some old some old patches and fill to bottom.

Provenance: Adele Earnest Collection
Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Collection, acquired from the above

Literature: Jackson Parker, “O’Brien Classic Decoys on Display at Museum of American Folk Art,” North American Decoys Magazine, Spanish Fork, UT, Spring/Summer 1982, p. 30, exact decoy illustrated.
Robert Shaw, "Bird Decoys of North America," New York, NY, 2010, p. 180.
Laurence Sheehan, "The Birding Life," New York, NY, 2011, p. 92, exact decoy illustrated.Jeff Waingrow, "American Wildfowl Decoys," New York, NY, 1989, p. 42. Milton C. Weiler and William J. Mackey, Jr., "Classic Shorebird Decoys: A Portfolio of Paintings," New York, NY, 1971, pl. 19, related example illustrated.
Laurence Sheehan, "The Birding Life," New York, NY, 2011, p. 92, exact decoy illustrated.

Exhibited: New York, New York, “The Art of the American Decoy: Folk Sculpture from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Donal C. O’Brien Jr.,” Museum of American Folk Art, September 3-November 8, 1981.


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.

$ 45000.00 ( Sold Price )


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Listed price: $35,000.00

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The Earnest Verity Plover, Obediah Verity (1813-1901)

Listed price: $35,000.00

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