Erik Nitsche: Canvasback Duck Decoy
Artist: Erik Nitsche
For centuries, the taking of waterfowl in Europe was a sport reserved for the rich and powerful aristocracy. However, in America, the water birds belonged to everyone. And to lure the great flocks from the skies, master artisans around the turn of the century carved hundreds of beautiful duck decoys. Many of these handsome decoys were so realistic that flocks of wild ducks would often swim and feed among the decoys without detecting them. Admired today as unique American Folk Art, the duck decoys of yesteryear were actual hunting tools carved with great care to accommodate the local hunting conditions. When icy floes blocked lakes and ponds, hunters designed their decoys with a sturdy and narrow breast to cut through the icy waters like the prow of a boat. The winter decoys were also designed with higher necks to keep the bill from dipping into the water and icing up. Decoys used in rough waters were more heavily weighted to give the appearance of a swimming duck. Although most duck decoys were carved from wood, the materials used to fashion the decoys also varied. From barrel slats and natural cork, to heavy canvas and even cast iron. The Canvasback Decoy featured on this artwork is housed in the famed Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, Vermont ... and was carved by the dean of American decoy collectors, Joel Barber.
This artwork was originally published on the Fleetwood® First Day Cover for the U.S. 22¢ Folk Art Duck Decoys Broadbill Duck Decoy stamp issued March 22, 1985.
Artwork Copyright © 1985 Unicover Corporation. All Rights Reserved under United States and international copyright laws. You may not reproduce, distribute, transmit, or otherwise exploit the Artwork in any way. Images of the Artwork may be watermarked and/or digitally watermarked. Any sale of the physical original does not include or convey the Copyright or any right comprised in the copyright.
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