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The Harmon "Dust Jacket" Plover Decoy, A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952)

The Harmon "Dust Jacket" Plover Decoy, A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952)

Item Description:

A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952)
East Harwich, MA, c. 1910
12 in. long

This plover is second to none in depicting the classic pose and exceptional feathering of the maker’s straight-head models. Its displays particularly balanced form, an extended neck, full head, and a long curved tail in very well preserved condition. In addition to its extensive literature and exhibition history, this exact decoy was chosen for the 1992 Massachusetts Waterfowl Stamp.

As seen on the Harmon turned-head decoy, the tail swoops gracefully downward, completing an “S” curve along the lower profile. The incised primaries extend for over six inches along the sides. The raised wing carving continues all the way around and resolves with a hollow between the wings.

The surface is finished with Crowell’s high-contrast marbleized paint along the lower sides while the back showcases his signature wet-on-wet paint throughout the mottled feather groups. The carved wing-tips are finished with his crisp and deliberate brushstrokes for these featured feathers.

Outstanding original paint with minimal gunning wear

Provenance: Roger Bacon Collection

Ted and Judy Harmon Collection, acquired from the above, c. 1977

Literature: Brian Cullity, “The Songless Aviary: The World of A. E. Crowell & Son,” Hyannis, MA, 1992, p. 49, pl. II, and p. 59, exact decoy illustrated.

Robert Shaw, "Bird Decoys of North America," New York, NY, 2010, p. 160, exact decoy illustrated.

John Clayton, “Massachusetts Masters: Decoys, Shorebirds, and Decorative Carvings," The Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University, 2010, p. 86, exact decoy illustrated.

Massachusetts Waterfowl Stamp, "Black-Bellied Plover by A. Elmer Crowell," 1992, exact decoy illustrated.

William J. Mackey Jr., "American Bird Decoys," New York, NY, 1965, p. 64, pl. III, and dust jacket, related plover illustrated.

John and Shirley Delph, "New England Decoys," Exton, PA, 1990, dust jacket, related plover illustrated.

Loy S. Harrell Jr., "Decoys: North America’s One Hundred Greatest," Iola, WI, 2000, p. 98, related plover illustrated.

Stephen B. O'Brien Jr. and Chelsie W. Olney, "Elmer Crowell: Father of American Bird Carving," Hingham, MA, 2019, p. 305, exact decoy illustrated.

Sandwich, Massachusetts, “The Songless Aviary: The World of A. E. Crowell & Son,” Heritage Plantation of Sandwich, May 10–October 25, 1992.

Salisbury, Maryland, “Massachusetts Masters: Decoys, Shorebirds and Decorative Carvings,” Ward Museum of Wildfowl Art, Salisbury University, LeMay Gallery, October 1, 2010–January 23, 2011.

Peoria, Illinois, “American Decoy: The Invention,” Peoria Riverfront Museum, February 9–April 28, 2019.


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.

$ 270000.00 ( Sold Price )



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