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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.


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$ 16000.00 ( Sold Price )



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