Guyette & Deeter Spring Auction


Guyette & Deeter, Inc. is pleased to announce its next sporting art and decoy auction, including items from important collections of William J. Mackey, Jr., Governor James Thompson, Dale and Gary Guyette, Bruce Williams, Steve Michaan, Kroghie Andresen, Dr. John Dinan, Jim and Pat Doherty, Leila and Frank Matthew, Otto Meyer, Doug and Ellen Miller, Fred Mott, Kirby Roberts, Nancy and Randy Root, and Randy Singer. The live streamed sale will take place April 30 and May 1.

The auction is an excellent opportunity to participate in an acclaimed showcasing of rare and important decoys. Highlights from the collections in this sale include the most famous of all Great Blue heron decoys, circa 1875, from New Jersey, and one of the favorites of important collector William J. Mackey, Jr. The heron decoy was acquired by Mackey around 1954 and is illustrated in his book, American Bird Decoys.

The most important Great Blue heron decoy to ever be offered at auction. From the William J. Mackey, Jr. collection.

Additionally, the sale features one of the finest Merganser decoys known, made around 1900 by Captain Edwin Backman of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. So renowned, the Merganser decoy is featured in the book Decoys of the Maritime Provinces, by Dale and Gary Guyette, as well as The Hundred Greatest, by Loy Harrell.

Another important decoy offered in the auction comes from the collection of Bruce Williams. The John Blair, Sr. Greenwing Teal is the finest Blair teal to ever cross the auction block, and is also featured in Harrell’s book, The Hundred Greatest.

Important Greenwing teal by John Blair, Sr., coming from the Bruce Williams collection.

There will be a variety of examples from all over Illinois from the collection of the late Governor of Illinois, Jim Thompson. Highlights include a turned head Mallard hen made in 1890 by Robert Elliston, as well as a Charles Perdew Redhead drake from the famous G.K. Schmidt rig.

Part of the finest collection of Illinois River decoys put together, the Governor James Thompson collection.

Decoys from Maryland include a rare pair of 1936 model Ward Brothers Redheads made for outdoor artist and enthusiast Dr. Edward Burke. From the Jim McCleery collection, representing Louisiana, will be a Mitchell Lafrance Pintail drake. Also available will be fine examples from North Carolina’s Alvirah Wright and Ned Burgess.

Pair of 1936 model redheads by the Ward Brothers. From the Leila & Frank Matthew collection.

Other waterfowl flyways will be well represented with a selection of Elmer Crowell carvings, including a feeding Yellowlegs with a hot oval branded base, an outstanding full body hollow Canada goose in a feeding position by John Tax of Minnesota.

Both the Bruce Williams and the Guyette’s collections consist of items purchased in the late 70s and early 80s and all have been held privately since. Many of the items are pictured in books and both represent important time capsules of sorts.

For fish decoys, collector and author Steven Michaan procured the finest collection of American fish decoys with a strong emphasis on carvings from Oscar Peterson, and spearing decoys from Lake Chautauqua, New York and Lake St. Clair, Michigan. Many of the fish decoys and folk art pieces are pictured in his popular books, Beneath the Ice and American Fish Decoys, and were exhibited at the American Folk Art Museum exhibition in 1990. The collection was mostly built by Michaan, who bought privately in the 1980s and 90s, so many pieces have never been offered publicly.

Part of a large selection of fish decoys from the Steven Michaan collection. Featured in his books, Beneath the Ice, and American Fish Decoys.

The amount of sporting paintings being offered in the sale is impressive, including noted American artists such as Lynn Bogue Hunt, David Maass, Chet Reneson, Aiden Lasalle Ripley, George Brown and William Henry Machen. The Lynn Bogue Hunt oil painting being offered was used as the original illustration for the artwork on a U.S. Cartridge Company calendar in 1927. The illustration’s history and size make it one of the most impressive Hunt paintings we have seen.

Impressive oil on canvas by Lynn Bogue Hunt, measuring 48” x 29.5”.

The Guyette & Deeter Spring Auction will be held April 30 and May 1, 2021, as a live streamed sale. Bidding will be available by phone, absentee, or online through Invaluable, BidSquare, and LiveAuctioneer. Bidders are encouraged to register online or set up phone or absentee bids early to ensure a smooth bidding process.

A 380-page full color catalog with guaranteed condition reports is available for $45. Contact the Guyette & Deeter office at 410-745-0485 to order a catalog, place bids, or with any questions.

Guyette & Deeter, Inc., established in 1984, is the world’s largest decoy auction firm with over $210,000,000 in decoy sales. They hold three cataloged auctions per year: Lombard, Illinois in April; Portsmouth, New Hampshire in July; and Easton, Maryland in November. For more details, visit The firm also conducts weekly online auctions at Since 1989, Guyette & Deeter has dominated the decoy auction market. In January 2007, Guyette & Deeter, in conjunction with Christie’s (New York), sold a Merganser hen by Lothrop Holmes for a world record auction price of $856,000.

Guyette & Deeter provides free and confidential decoy appraisals to anyone sending a decoy photo and stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Guyette & Deeter, P.O. Box 1170, St. Michaels, MD 21663. For additional information, contact: Gary Guyette at or 410-745-0485 and/or Jon Deeter at or 440-610-1768.

Important Merganser drake by Captain Edwin Backman. Featured in “Decoys of Maritime Canada,” by Dale and Gary Guyette.
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