Fish Decoys, ca. 1940

Value (2013) | $1,200 Retail

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.

Have you ever had anybody look at them?

I had a guy who wanted to buy them, and he offered me $50 apiece, but I just didn't want to sell them.

So does the name "Oscar Peterson" sound familiar?

Yeah, that is who I found on the Internet, that was the name.

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...

Oh, that's how they did it, okay.

Yeah, and what they were trying to do was get a bigger fish to come up in the hole so they could spear him.


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.


$200 for this one.

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

Appraisal Details

Ken Farmer LLC
Charlottesville, VA
Appraised value (2013)
$1,200 Retail
Detroit, MI (June 01, 2013)
Folk Art
Paint , Wood

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