Merganser Drake Decoy

  • Unidentified, Merganser Drake Decoy, early 20th century, metal, wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986.65.62

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.

Title
Merganser Drake Decoy
Artists
Date
early 20th century
On View
Dimensions
7 3/8 x 17 7/8 x 5 5/8 in. (18.6 x 45.4 x 14.2 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

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

Mediums
Classifications
Keywords
  • Animal – bird – duck
Object Number
1986.65.62
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI