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    Fish Decoys, ca. 1940

    Appraised Value:

    $1,200 (2013)

    Appraised on: June 1, 2013

    Appraised in: Detroit, Michigan

    Appraised by: Ken Farmer

    Category: Folk Art

    Episode Info: Detroit (#1804)

    Originally Aired: January 27, 2014

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 3 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Carving
    Material: Wood, Paint
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $1,200 (2013)

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    Appraisal Video: (1:36)


    Appraised By:

    Ken Farmer
    Decorative Arts, Folk Art, Furniture, Musical Instruments

    Appraisal Transcript:

    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.

    GUEST: Okay.

    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.

    GUEST: Wow!

    APPRAISER: $200 for this one.

    GUEST: That's pretty good for a broken tail. That's awesome!

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