S: Chesapeake Bay Decoys
FC: Chesapeake Bay Decoys Domenick J. Ronga Collection
1: Text by Gil Hughes Photographs by Ken Hitchens December, 2011 | Chesapeake Bay Decoys
2: Black Duck circa 1890 From Eastern shore of Virginia. Larger than New Jersey birds, good mandible carving and nostril detail. Great old repainted surface, hollow-carved with a high built up chest. Old lead shot rattle inside from past hunts.
4: Ruddy Duck
6: Canvasback Drake circa 1910 Susquehanna Flats area of Maryland. Original weight and rounded body, the proportions, head and neck are beautifully stylized. One of the finest turn-of-the-century carvings I have seen.
8: Atlantic Brant circa 1900 Hatteras Island, North Carolina. A smaller, more sophisticated design than most Hatteras birds, it exhibits tail carving and a local (but scarce) two-piece head construction. Later repainted as a snow goose for confidence use or actual hunting when snow goose hunting was reinstated.
10: Scaup (Bluebill) Drake early 20th century Crisfield, Maryland by Lloyd Tyler. Great folk art example of the "big hipped", chunky Crisfield school of carving.
12: Green Wing Teal
14: Green Wing Teal Drake circa 1920 Knotts Island, North Carolina and Virginia. A species not carved in the Back Bay - Currituck Sound school. Impressed brand. Carved by Waterfield.
16: Black Duck circa 9110-1920 A snakey head and solid body indicate this is from the northern end of the Mississippi Flyway; presumably from Iowa or Minnesota. A bit more refined than most of the rather plain, blocky decoys of the area.
18: Black Duck circa 1870-1880 From the Susquehanna Flats, Maryland area, "Head of the Bay". Originally painted as a Canvasback.
20: Atlantic Brant late 20th century Upper Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. A well carved contemporary working bird typical of the 1960's and later. Carving similar to artists like Bob McGaw. Good paint detail.
22: Bufflehead Drake 1983 Carved by James Hasty, Nags Head, North Carolina. Original paint. A contemporary working bird exhibiting exceptional folk art in a heavy North Carolina stylized, over-sized decoy.
24: Coot (Cowbill, Mud Hen)
26: Golden Eye
28: Sleeping Black Duck early 20th century Delaware River, New Jersey-Delaware. Exceptional hollow-carved and raised wing design combine with fine paint in a sophisticated design. Later copied by certain Illinois River carvers in the Mississippi Flyway.
30: Lesser Scaup (Blackhead) Drake circa 1850-60 From Bell point, Long Island, New York. Old working South Shore repaint. Exceptionally old bird in great condition. Charming bulbous folk art form.
32: Black Duck circa 1910 Primitive solid flat-bottomed bird from the bay side of the Eastern Shore of Virginia with an unusual turned-head construction.
34: Canvasback Drake circa 1860 Susquehanna Flats, Maryland. Old replacement head; earliest working bird I have seen. Found in Havre de Grace, Maryland.
38: Swimming Black Duck circa 1910-1920 Connecticut River Valley, Stratford, Connecticut area. Exceptional head movement, hollow carved high-body design with bottom board and raised-wing carving
40: Ringneck Drake circa 1920 Carved by Alfred Herbert, Houma, Louisiana. He hunted in Bayou Terrebone. Totally original. The ultimate deep south decoy.