$214,000. Pennington photo.
A black-bellied plover by A. Elmer Crowell that appeared on the cover of William J. Mackey’s 1965 book American Bird Decoys sold for $214,000 (est. $125,000/175,000) on August 1 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at Guyette, Schmidt & Deeter’s annual summer two-day auction.
The plover was part of the Carolyn Rowland collection, a collection of Crowell decorative carvings that was deemed so significant by the auction firm, it published a separate catalog—called a “photographic reference”—picturing all the Rowland decoys in full-
color glossy photographs. (The plover was not a decorative; it was a working decoy.)
The buyer was Charleston, South Carolina, dealer Tom Reed, who calls his business American Sporting Classics. “I bought it for a client,” Reed said. “It’s a rare bird.” The underbidder was on the phone.
It was cataloged as with “near mint original paint.” This was the first time the plover had been on the market since the 1970’s.
We’ll have a full report on the Guyette, Schmidt & Deeter sale in an upcoming issue.
Originally published in the September 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest