We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Some of the expected prices of American furniture and folk art in a Christie's auction today and tomorrow are astonishing. Still, I thought our readers might be most interested in the values of the old decoys in that auction.
The hen merganser above is expected to fetch between $200-250,000. Another hen merganser in the auction is expected to fetch up to $500,000.
Americana doesn't have to be made from precious metal or come with a society pedigree. Christie's will be auctioning hand-carved duck decoys this week with several estimated in the $500,000 range. What makes carved birds so pricey? "It's the confluence of two collecting categories — hunters and folk-art collectors coming together and competing over the same material," the head of Christie's Americana department, Margot Rosenberg, said. Twenty years ago, a similar phenomenon took place with weather vanes. "Weather vanes was the old story," Ms. Rosenberg said. "This is the new story. At auction, a bird has yet to break a million, but one will soon."
It's time for everybody to check Grandpa's barns and sheds for old decoys.