There’s a new duck decoy record holder from Martha’s Vineyard. A rare redhead drake hunting decoy carved by Henry Keyes Chadwick, an Oak Bluffs carver who died in 1958, fetched $23,000 at auction, a new world auction record for both Chadwick and a Martha’s Vineyard decoy, according to a press release from Guyette & Deeter.
“It’s not a record for a decoy, but it’s a record for a Vineyard decoy,” Gary Guyette, a principal with the auction firm, told The Times in a brief telephone interview.
The previous record holder was sold in 2011 at auction in St. Charles, Ill., according to Times archives. That decoy, carved by Benjamin Warren Pease, was purchased for $22,425.
The auction for Mr. Chadwick’s decoy was held in Portsmouth, N.H., Mr. Guyette said.
Mr. Chadwick, who was 93 when he died, was a carpenter and poultry farmer on the Island who carved decoys for his own use and to sell to duck hunters. He carved redheads, goldeneye, black ducks, bluebills, mergansers, and brant, according to the release.
He carved only about 2,500, Mr. Guyette said. “Considering he was carving for 60 years, that’s not a lot,” he said. “We’ve sold others of his style. He carved a lot fewer earlier, and they’re nicer than his later ones.”
The next record setter could be in your attic, garage, or barn. Mr. Guyette is planning to come to the Vineyard to do free appraisals of decoys, and pick up decoys on consignment for future auctions, later this month. Mr. Guyette will be on Island June 27 and 28, and is making appointments through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at 410-745-0485.