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Yellowlegs Flattie

A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952)

East Harwich, MA, c. 1910-15

12" long


Rare utilitarian silhouette Yellowlegs shorebird by Crowell.  Crafted on a bevelled plank with a split tail and original inserted bill.  Utilizing large painted brass tacks for eyes.  The paint is bold and thick.  The back is painted with white dots over a brown base with black and grey feathering details.  The head is cream with dozens of brown brush strokes.  Bright white strokes can be seen down the neck and belly as well as right above the eyes.  A grey streak runs the length of both sides of the bill and up onto the face to deliniate a beak opening.


In relation to his full body shorebirds, few flatties are ever seen and are incredibly rare.  No other flattie yellowlegs have come up for auction in well over a decade.  The few survivors are seemingly lightly used with virtually no gunning wear.  The body has a few age checks in the wood but is structually stable.  As with most examples seen, there is a tiny hole through the middle of the body.  This is most presumably to allow the hunter to string many together on a loop for easy carry in and out of the field.


Condition: Strong original condition with some checking in the side, slight separation at the base of the bill and one piece of shot in the right side.


Literature: Shirley and John Delph, "New England Decoys," Exton, PA, 1990, p. 149, rig mate illustrated.


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Yellowlegs Flattie - Elmer Crowell


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