e"> "Close Cart"

The Purnell-Aitken Running Plover Decoy, Obediah Verity (1813-1901)

The Purnell-Aitken Running Plover Decoy, Obediah Verity (1813-1901)

Item Description:

Obediah Verity (1813-1901)
Seaford, Long Island, NY, c. 1880
11 1/2 in. long

This gunning decoy hails from two of the top decoy collectors of all time, Russell B. Aitken and William H. Purnell. A racy Seaford decoy with fine "beetle head" form. One of the only other Verity plovers in a running posture resides in a top Washington state collection. This decoy features deeply carved heart-shaped wings, incised eyes, and displays the maker's best feathering. William Purnell recalls acquiring this decoy after seeing it in a shop window in his hometown of Ocean City, Maryland. With it were two Bunn/Bowman shorebirds which he also purchased. Upon inquiry it was relayed to the collector that the birds had come down with Long Islanders to outfit the famous Bob-O-Dell Gun Club located on Chincoteague Bay. Other birds from the rig were discovered and acquired by William Mackey.
Original paint with even gunning wear. Possible minor gunning touch-up to black breast.

Provenance: Bob-O-Dell Gun Club

William H. Purnell Collection

Russell B. Aitken Collection

Private Collection, Long Island

Literature: Christie's, "The Russell B. Aitken Collection of Waterfowl Decoys," New York, NY, 2003, lot 1313, exact decoy illustrated.

E. Jane Townsend, "Gunners Paradise: Wildfowling and Decoys on Long Island," Stony Brook, NY, 1979, pp. 115-116, related upright examples illustrated.

Dr. Cynthia Byrd, “The Decoys of Long Island,” Water Mill, NY, 2010, p. 31, top left, exact decoy 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.

$ 18,000.00 ( Low est. )
Lot 214 in The Sporting Sale 2019
AUCTION DATE: Jul 25, 2019 at 10:00am EDT


Make an offer

How it works:
  • Submit your offer and our sales team will negotiate with the seller on your behalf.
  • The item will remain on sale for other buyers while your offer is being discussed.
  • Not sure what to offer? Include a message below and a Lofty specialist will reach out to you.
NOTE: If the seller accepts, your offer is binding.
Listed price: $18,000.00

A member of the Lofty Sales Team will be in touch shortly and you will receive a copy of this email.

The Purnell-Aitken Running Plover Decoy, Obediah Verity (1813-1901)

Listed price: $18,000.00

Contact Lofty