There is no question that prices for decoy and sporting art continue to be strong in 2021. Guyette & Deeter, Inc.’s summer auction on August 6 and 7 grossed close to the high estimate at $4.2 million. The annual auction featured 550 lots, with five lots selling for over $100,000 and 98 selling for over $10,000.
Perhaps the most noteworthy item in the sale was Herman Simon’s oil on canvas that went to the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Completed in 1883, many consider the painting to be the most important waterfowling scene ever painted. The subject is of two wealthy sportsmen shooting from a double sink box in the Chesapeake Bay; the only known painting of its kind. The painting, an impressive 36” x 60”, sold for $102,000, a world auction record for Herman Simon. It will be displayed in the museum’s new addition set for construction starting in December.
Sporting art did exceedingly well and included noted American artists such as Edmond Osthaus, Chet Reneson, George Brown, William Henry Machen, and John Serry-Lester.
Three decoys exceeded expectations with each sale reaching over the $100,000 mark. A wonderful, rare sleeping mallard drake by important Connecticut carver Charles “Shang” Wheeler brought $144,000. In addition, a Golden plover from Nantucket, Massachusetts, earned $114,000. The superb Greater yellowlegs in content pose by William Bowman secured top dollar with a winning bid of $108,000. A fish decoy by Hans Janner also topped out at $108,000.
Decoys of local interest include a stunning bluebill drake made in 1936 by the Ward brothers of Crisfield that went for $48,000. A canvasback drake by the Ward brothers went for $14,000. A bufflehead carved by Ed Parsons in Oxford during the 1920s sold for $12,000. This is a world auction record for Ed Parsons. A swan by Oliver Lawson sold for $13,200.
The Guyette & Deeter Fall Auction will be held November 10-11, 2021, in conjunction with the Easton Waterfowl Festival. Bidders are encouraged to register online or set up phone or absentee bids early to ensure a smooth bidding process. Collectors and enthusiasts can look forward to decoys and sporting art from across the U.S. and Canada as well as many great pieces made on the Eastern Shore and surrounding areas. A 350-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.
Included in the sale is an outstanding pair of Canada geese by Mandt Homme, a rare black duck by Leonard Pryor, an important lake trout trade sign by Oscar Peterson, and many others. This year’s November sale will feature the collections of Charlie Hunter, D.C. North, General Warren Magruder, Steven Michaan, Virginia and Jonathan Chua, and Bruce Williams.
Guyette & Deeter, Inc., established in 1984, is the world’s largest decoy auction firm. The firm holds three cataloged auctions per year. For more details, visit www.guyetteanddeeter.com. The firm also conducts weekly online auctions at www.decoysforsale.com.
Guyette & Deeter recently expanded its operations in St. Michaels where it is headquartered, moving into space at 1210 South Talbot Street in the former Gatsby’s building. Not only is the gallery space ideal for collectors to bring in their decoys for appraisals by appointment, it’s also a great way to preview auction items. For additional information, contact: Jon Deeter at firstname.lastname@example.org or 440-610-1768 or Gary Guyette at Gary@guyetteanddeeter.com or 410-745-0485. 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 or emailing Jon or Gary.