Fish Decoys, ca. 1940
Appraised Value: $1,200 (2013)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (1:36)
Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Musical Instruments
GUEST: We were cleaning out our barn and I found this little beat-up tackle box and opened it up and there was a tangle of decoys and these little guys. I did some research on them on the Internet and I did find him, but I don't remember who the artist was.
APPRAISER: Have you ever had anybody look at them?
GUEST: I had a guy who wanted to buy them, and he offered me $50 apiece, but I just didn't want to sell them.
APPRAISER: So does the name "Oscar Peterson" sound familiar?
GUEST: Yeah, that is who I found on the Internet, that was the name.
APPRAISER: This is an Oscar Peterson fish decoy. They used them to fish through holes in the ice, and they would actually put a jig and a stick on them and they would...
GUEST: Oh, that's how they did it, okay.
APPRAISER: Yeah, and what they were trying to do was get a bigger fish to come up in the hole so they could spear him.
APPRAISER: Oscar Peterson is the crème de la crème of all the guys who made fish decoys. He made them in different sizes. People loved his carving, and it's a very distinctive way that he did the head with the eyes and the mouth. On a scale of one to ten, that's probably a seven and a half on condition. The good news is the finish is dry and it's an honest finish. Now, the other one, I'm not sure exactly who made him. So I think it's a good thing that you didn't take the $50 each, because the Oscar Peterson in a retail setting is probably worth $1,000.
APPRAISER: $200 for this one.
GUEST: That's pretty good for a broken tail. That's awesome!
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