top of page

Winter Plumage Golden Plover

Charles F. Coffin (1835-1919)
Nantucket, MA, c. 1870
10 in. long


After the demise of the whaling economy in the 1860's, Nantucketers had to turn to other plentiful resources to survive.  Abundant with natural fields, which had been maintained and expanded for centuries by herds of sheep, provided premium foraging and rest for many species of shorebirds.  The golden plover was no exception.  It was one of the more plentiful species to have a brief stop over Nantucket.  It is said that when their flocks would arrive they would stretch for miles in the sky, teaming with tens of thousands of birds.


On their way North in the late Winter or very early Spring, most fly a more direct route to their Summer homes thus limiting the occurences of hunters encountering them on Nantucket in non-breeding plumage.  Ultimately limiting the need for decoys to match that plumage altogether.  


In some instances, juveniles would lag behind the fall migration.  In order for the hunter to better attract the juveniles, they would occasionally paint a white belly on the bottom of their Summer plumage plovers.  The decoy would work well for late arriving juveniles and early arriving plovers in the Spring.  These examples are relatively few in numbers as well.  They are easily identifiable as different from this example because they have much darker bodies and the thin white coat on the belly can't fully cover the black or the painted spots.


This example marks a rare opportunity to own a true Winter plumage golden plover by Coffin.  True to the Winter plumage, the bird bears a thinly painted white belly and has a gray painted body covered in the 'greenback' spotting.  The paint is applied so thin and haphazardly that bare spots of wood can be seen in some areas where the white belly and gray back meet.  The decoy has an incredible bone dry surface with thinly applied paint over a solid 3 piece classic body with tack eyes.


Condition:  Excellent dry original paint that has worn to bare wood in a couple small locations.  Original bill has a few chips that broke off the bottom edge where the bill meets the face where an early repair applied those original pieces back to the bill.


*List price is Check or Cash price.  Online payment purchases will have an additional 5% processing fee surcharge.  Please contact with any questions!  Thank you for your business!

Rare Winter Plumage Golden Plover - Charles Coffin


    Related Items