531: White-Winged Scoter
Augustus Aaron Wilson (1864-1950)
South Portland, ME, c. 1885
This decoy comes from an early rig of Monhegan decoys that was found in South Portland, Maine in the early 1970s. When birds from this rig originally surfaced, they were thought to have been carved by a gentleman named Hans Berry or Hansberry from Cross Island, Maine. Now a wildlife refuge thanks to a gift of the Cabot family, Cross Island was once a fishing community with a life-saving station. Current decoy specialists refer to this type of Wilson decoy as his “Monhegan style.” Birds of this form with their intricate bill carving, reared back heads, developed shoulder carving, broad bodies and upswept tail are most coveted by today’s decoy and folk art collectors.
Provenance: Private Collection
Mixture of original and working paint with gunning wear to include age lines, hairline crack in bill, and a tail chip.