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Plump Black Duck

Daniel Lake Leeds (1852-1922)
Pleasantville, NJ c. 1890


Rare black duck decoy by an iconic New Jersey duck and shorebird decoy maker collected by decoy icon, Alan Haid.


Describing decoys by this maker, William Mackey states in "Classic Shorebird Decoys: A Portfolio of Paintings":

"The Dan Leeds birds have a stylized exaggeration that has an artistic appeal. Paint patterns are bright and adequate, and the technique is unusual; Dan used thick oily paint and laid it on instead of brushing it out. This viscous coating made a durable finish, and the rig (of decoys referred) was found in mint condition. The old gentleman lavished great care on his decoys during their years of service. They stand on their own merit and have little in common with their New Jersey contemporaries."


Mackey's quote near perfectly sums up this evolved 1890's era of carving and painting for Daniel.  His technique provided beauty and uniqueness in sculpture from that of his peers and his talented yet sport worthy paint jobs allowed the decoys to survive incredibly through the generations.  This is certainly one of the nicest black duck decoys known by this maker.


Surviving in strong original condition with all of its rigging.  Thick paint has aged nicely with speculum and feather painting.  The head is slightly turned off to the left and has glass eyes.


Condition:  Original with light gunning wear including worn paint on the bill, tail and top of head.  Head is very slightly loose with small slivers of filler missing from the base of the neck.



Alan Haid Collection
Private Collection

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Black Duck - Daniel Lake Leeds


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