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Rare Shoveler Pair

Cameron T. McIntyre (b. 1968)
New Church, VA, c. 2016

Drake 16.25"
Hen 15.75"


The Mason Decoy Factory, as far as is known, never made Premier Grade Shovelers.  Drawn on influence from what is considered to be the most stylistic period of Mason production.  Cameron set out to create catalog worthy examples of 'Premier Grade' Shovelers from the 1890's.  All while imparting his own perfections to the model.  


Often in Premier advertising, and seldom seen in reality, a striking pair is artisticly drawn to depict an astute drake and behind it, an aggressively turned-head hen.  In following this advertising logic, Cameron created a pair where the drakes head is mostly straight and the hens head is turned.  A true master of form and patina, Cameron was able to convey a sense of intrigue and grace in the pair all while producing a surface to appear as if they were genuine relics lost to time for the last 135 years.  Both bear the hand painted 'Premier' stencil on the underside as well as Cameron's incised initials 'CTM' into the bottom.


When Cameron was making this particular pair for the consignor, he reached out and asked if the consignor would be ok with him installing his hour glass lead pad weight.  Not wanting to get in the way of Cameron's art, the consignor agreed and was was curious of its meaning.  After explaining the significance of the design, the consignor enjoyed the thoughtfulness of it and requested they be used on this pair as well as the Canvasback drake.  Being an artist of great reverance and attention to detail in his work, Cameron's hour glass lead pad weight bears great meaning.  In Cameron's eyes, the weight serves as a lasting reminder to himself and all who ever on the piece of the portion of life that he dedicated to the creation of it.


"I don’t shoot them, so I don’t make them" ~ Cameron McIntyre (Garden & Gun 2020)


Though Cameron is a contemporary living maker, the above is an important fact to understand when collecting his work.  He is a meticulous carver in no rush.  Choosing to create pieces that inspire him and that focus on waterfowl he actually interacts with.  All of which creates a genuine sense of singularity to each piece and legitimate rarity to species and styles less created.


In many ways this particular pair holds numerous 'rare' attributes.  The first and foremost of them being that Shovelers are an incredibly rare species for Cameron.  We're only aware of two Shoveler pairs, including this one.  The next rarity is that to now, this is the only pair of Mason Premier style Shovelers made.  Additionally, in the Mason Premier style, he mostly made singular drakes, not pairs.  In this style only a handful of pairs are known.  A pair of Cameron's Mason Premier style Pintails are located in The Center for American Decoys - Peoria Riverfront Museum. Assuming the remainder of his carving career follows the first 35 years, we wouldn’t expect many more of these species to be made in any style.  Leaving these permanently as an in demand, unique, and hard to acquire addition to any collection.


Cameron's work has been covered in numerous publications from Decoy Magazine to Garden & Gun.  His work has been displayed in numerous one-man and small group shows across the country.  Privately his work resides in some of the best collections across the country, sitting along side many of the master pieces he has studied throughout his life.  Publicly his work is displayed in numerous insitutions.  Deservedly so, he was the premier contemporary decoy carver displayed at the opening of The Center for American Decoys, Peoria Riverfront Museum, Peoria, IL.


Condition: Mint, as aged by artist


Provenance: Private Virginia Collection, acquired from the artist


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Rare Shoveler Pair - Cameron McIntyre


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