St. Clair Flats (Canada) Canvasback
Western Ontario and the vast marshes and mud flats around Lake St. Clair teemed with waterfowl in the late 1800’s and many great decoys were produced in the region by several quite famous decoy makers and hunters. Probably the most famous decoy maker from the region is Tom Chambers (1860-1948), who guided hunters at the St. Anne’s Club and later became superintendent and marsh manager for the famous St. Clair Flats Shooting Company. Ltd. until he retired in 1943 at the age of 83.
Chambers decoys are highly prized by collectors. They are mostly hollow, beautifully carved and artistically painted. Most of his output consisted of diving ducks, mostly Redheads and Canvasbacks, and the Canvasback replicated here is from a classic Tom Chambers decoy. His decoys sold for $75 per dozen in the 1930’s. Today they can command more than $50,000 when they come up for sale in decoy auctions. I would buy a dozen for $75, wouldn’t you?