Lee Dudley Canvasback reproduction
Over the years I’ve been lucky enough to have owned some really great old decoys, including a couple by Lee Dudley, of Knotts Island , NC. Lee Dudley turned out most of his decoys prior to 1900 and relatively few have survived intact to this day. Most collectors agree that the Dudley canvasback is a true classic, and a valuable addition to any collection. William Mackey, one of the earliest decoy authorities called the heads on Dudley decoys “… the most beautifully conceived and splendidly carved heads ever placed on duck decoys.” Few collectors would disagree.
With the prices of great decoys at auction today reaching into the millions of dollars, and most really good Dudley’s bringing upwards of $30,000 each, only the wealthiest or luckiest collectors can add an original to their collections. I fact, there is a Dudley “Ruddy Duck” decoy in the Shelbourne Museum in Vermont that most experts agree would bring well over a million dollars if the museum ever wanted to sell it.
With that in mind, I decided to use my artistic skills and a background of hundreds of decoys I’ve made over the years to try to fill a niche and allow the average collector to enjoy that Dudley “look” with a careful and accurate reproduction. The decoy in the photo is the prototype, and orders taken will be crafted from Atlantic white cedar, one at a time, based on this pattern, and aged appropriately. The aging process takes awhile, so give me a month or so and I’ll send you a contemporary classic decoy that looks and feels 100 years old.