Giclee Print on Mounted Canvas
Edition of 300 S/N
Image: 24″ x 30″
Ira Hudson was one of the greatest of the old time decoy makers. He was born in 1876 and died in 1949, living most of his life with his wife and 12 children on the island of Chincoteague, Virginia. He was a boat builder, famous for the Chincoteague “deadrise” skiff. As a decoy maker, by his own estimate, he carved over 20,000 decoys in his lifetime. The large numbers of decoys Ira turned out in his lifetime are the good fortune of decoy collectors. Few serious collections are without one or many Hudsons.
I was fortunate enough to have several fine Hudson decoys in my collection over the years; most of them were purchased in the days when a nice decoy could be bought for under $100. Today, some of those same Ira Hudson decoys will bring in excess of $100,000, and the days of the $100 decoy (by any decoy maker) are long gone. The record price for a decoy sold at auction recently went to over $800,000. There are decoys in some museums and private collections right now that if offered for sale, they would bring over a million dollars.
Just about every decoy I ever owned sooner or late ended up in a painting, and my Hudsons provided some of my best subject matter. While none of the six in this painting are in the 6 figure dollar range, nevertheless they are great decoys. The Canada goose, bluebill, pintail, black duck and merganser are all in original paint, showing hard usage. The canvasback is probably the best of the six, and is pictured on the cover of one of the more well-known decoy books. This decoy has great original paint, the fluted “banjo tail,” the swirled breast paint and nostril & mandible carving, all typical of Ira’s best work. Like most artists, Ira had good days and then some great days. (I guess he had some bad days too.) Having these decoys to look at, to hold, and reflect upon the stories they could tell has provided me with some really great days as well. This painting is a tribute to one of my favorite artists in every sense of the word, Ira Hudson.