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The McCleery King Merganser Decoy, Joe King (1835-1913)

The McCleery King Merganser Decoy, Joe King (1835-1913)

Item Description:

Joe King (1835-1913)
Manahawkin, NJ, c. 1880
16 in. long

The McCleery King merganser decoy is considered a New Jersey icon. Featured in the two most important publications dedicated to the region, it relates closely to the famous Lloyd Parker (1859-1922) red-breasted pair pictured in the "Hundred Greatest;" however, this King decoy likely predates the noteworthy Parkers by several decades. Additionally, this King decoy features several extra treatments not seen in the later Parker design, most notably a more detailed crest, a more intricate bill, and a sweeping neck line with pronounced shoulder delineations. Discussing the Hillman-Parker pair, the catalogers of the birds write, "...they are the finest pair of birds to come out of the state of New Jersey." While Parker deserves rightful praise as a master carver from New Jersey, the reigning monarch is the region's stylistic innovator, Joe King.

The underside bears an inset rectangular weight and a McCleery Collection stamp.
Excellent original paint with minimal gunning wear and a hairline crack in neck.

Provenance: Dr. James M. McCleery Collection

Private Collection, Connecticut acquired from the sale of the above

Literature: James R. Doherty, "Classic New Jersey Decoys," Louisville, KY, 2011, p. 151, pl. 308, exact bird illustrated.

Sotheby's and Guyette and Schmidt, "American Waterfowl Decoys: The Distinguished Collection of Dr. James M. McCleery," New York, NY, January 22-23, 2000, p. 156, lot 393, exact carving illustrated.

Henry A. Fleckenstein Jr., "New Jersey Decoys," Exton, PA, 1983, p. 127, pl. 280, exact decoy illustrated.

Guyette and Schmidt, "Important Auction of Rare Waterfowl Decoys from the Collection of John Hillman, April 25 & 26, 1996," West Farmington, ME, 1996, p. 34, lot 113, related examples by Lloyd Parker illustrated.

Loy S. Harrell Jr., "Decoys: North America’s One Hundred Greatest," Iola, WI, 2000, pp. 40-41, related examples by Lloyd Parker illustrated.


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