Lee Dudley Pintail

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Project Description

Lee Dudley Pintail reproduction


Decoy collectors agree that any decoy made by Lee Dudley, of Knotts Island, NC is a valuable addition to any collection. Since most Dudley’s were made prior to 1900, very few authentic examples have survived to this day. Most of the great Dudley’s in collections today are canvasbacks, redheads, bluebills (also called blackheads), some flat-bottomed mallards and black ducks, a handful of ruddy ducks and a couple of Canada geese. One lucky collector has in his collection the only Dudley green-winged teal known to exist.  This gorgeous little bird was a star in the famous William Mackey collection, and probably would bring close to a million dollars if the owner ever decided to sell it.

I have personally seen only 2 pintail decoys by Lee Dudley, neither of which had much paint left. I was lucky enough to have one of these in my studio for about a year during which time I used it for subject matter in several paintings. I also made detailed drawings and measurements to create a miniature Dudley pintail for a project I had been working on with the Hamilton Mint. Recently I revisited some of these drawings and notes and created an actual size replica of a Dudley pintail, which you see here. The paint pattern is a combination of an educated guess based on other Dudley decoys I have seen or owned and the painting styles of the Currituck region “back in the day.” It is not the paint on Dudley decoys that makes them so attractive to the connoisseur (most Dudley’s have little or no paint on them anyway); it is the sculptural beauty and “attitude” that I have tried to capture here.

Like the canvasback, the decoy shown here is a prototype. Each decoy will be made to order from this pattern and appropriately “antiqued.” Allow a month or so for delivery.

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