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Rare Curlew
Unknown, T. Rogers Rig

Jamaica Bay, Long Island, NY, c. 1870


Rare and sculptural example of a curlew from this rig.  The vast majority of shorebirds from the T. Rogers rig are iconic tucked head carvings that physically bear virtually no difference in construction between them.  The difference in Plover, Dowitcher, and Ruddy Turnstone is only identifiable by their painted plumage and bill length.  Instead of keeping the same body style and just enlarging and inserting a stylized bill, either the carver or at Rogers request, created a whole new body style specifically for this species.


The eyes are deeply carved out.  The body is lage and plump.  Carrying many similar features from the plump low heads.  Though with a defined neck and far more stylized bill.  Structurally the decoy has remained in fine condition with the original paint on the surface being worn to nearly nothing.  As the bird would have been brown anyways, it doesn't detract too much from the sculptural enjoyment of the decoy.


Interestingly, there is an old squared plug placed in the middle of the breast.  An area that at one point, if removed, would have turned this decoy into a highly appealing feeder.  Though it appears to have been under the original coat of paint, it is possible Rogers or the carver didn't like the look of the feeding position upon creation and opted to plug it.  Opting for a normal stick up appearance.  A rigmate Curlew with the exact same plug treatment is seen in 'Shore Bird Decoys' by Henry Fleckenstein on page 90.  A related rig-mate Curlew with the same stick-up hole correction was sold out of the Jim & Pat Doherty collection Lot 447 November 2020.


Condition: Entirely original with worn surface exposing most of the wood.


Timothy Sieger, "The Decoys of Long Island," Water Mills, NY, 2010, p.58, related example illustrated.
Henry A. Fleckenstein Jr., “Shore Bird Decoys,” Exton, PA, 1980, pp. 90, color pl. LX, rigmate illustrated.



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Rare Curlew - Theodore Rogers Rig


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