A few years ago, while poking around the hayloft of our barn, I came across a beaten up old burlap bag filled with — surprise beyond surprise…my dad’s old wooden decoys from back in the 1940s and 50s. Believe me, it was a find I know I’ll never get again, and it made me think about the wonderful wooden decoys I’ve seen in little obscure antique shops or even the ones some folks might also have in their barns or attics that they may not even know about!
If your dad, grandfather, or uncle was a duck or goose hunter anytime before the mid 1950s, you might find a sack of old decoys out in his barn or in the shed behind his house. And if you do, you’ve got something great. Until the 1950s, decoys were created by artisans and hunters both for work and for decoration — but in the 1950s, plastic and foam took over the decoys-for-work world. So if you find some old ones, pull them out! They may not be hugely valuable (or maybe they are!), but there’s a wide variety of ways you can use those decoys to add life to a corner, a wall, or even decorate an entire room.
They come in all shapes and sizes and the antiques come in a variety of textures:
wood (OK, that’s obvious, I know. But the types of wood vary widely — they’re all soft woods are commonly White Cedar, Tupleo, Basswood or White Pine but could also be Cypress, Catalpa, Paulownia, Jelutong, or Cottonwood.)
cork (the old ones tend to be rather fragile)
canvas (you can see the seam on the front of this decoy’s chest and also sewn onto the bottom)
So take a look at how these decoys have enhanced these rooms…