Frog Decoy

  • Unidentified, Frog Decoy, 20th century, painted wood with metal, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986.65.53

Luce Center Label

North American hunters have used decoys for centuries. Native Americans made decoys from reeds, clay, and stuffed skins to lure migrating birds within range of their arrows or spears. European pioneers adopted this technique, and by the early nineteenth century both commercial and sport hunters used carved wooden decoys. Craftsmen shape and decorate decoys either to imitate the desired bird’s prey or “trick” them into thinking it is safe to land.

Frog Decoy
20th century
On View
2 1/2 x 11 3/4 x 6 1/4 in. (6.4 x 29.9 x 15.9 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson

Mediums Description
painted wood with metal
  • Animal – amphibian – frog
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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ca. 1850
watercolor on ivory
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enamel and gilded metal
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carved and painted wood with metal

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