Unidentified (American), Maryland Canvasback Duck Decoy, early 20th century, carved and painted wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr., 1988.74.18
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.
Maryland Canvasback Duck Decoy
- early 20th century
7 3/4 x 14 5/8 x 6 3/8 in. (19.7 x 37.2 x 16.2 cm.)
- Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr.
- Mediums Description
- carved and painted wood
- Animal – bird – duck
- Object Number
- Linked Open Data
- Linked Open Data URI