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because of her unique technique, Mrs. Perdew’s painted decoys eventually became more valuable than those painted by her husband.

harlie used various kinds of tools over the years, many of which he made himself. In later years he used a band saw to cut out the body and head blocks, but it should come as no surprise that Perdew still did the shaping with a worn pocket knife. Both the head and body were given a final sanding by hand, and then of course, hand painted. All of Charlie’s gunning decoys were hollow, but his decorative half-size and miniature decoys were carved from solid wood. During the last 10-12 years of his life, Perdew’s work was decorative only. He made ornamental decoys, duck calls and many species of life-size songbirds but Perdew was never able to keep up with demand since he carved each item by hand.

ecoys and duck calls carved during the mid-1800’s to the mid-1900’s are now in demand by collectors and are considered great works of art. Carvers crafted original pieces with precision and

attention to detail, greatly increasing their artistic and monetary value in today’s art market. Many sell at prices ranging from $1,500 to $25,000 with extremely rare decoys selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

he Lakeview Museum in Peoria, Illinois, exhibits the folk art of duck decoys, displaying waterfowl created by some of the best carvers in the country. These lifelike decoys with their distinctive patterns are a special folk art, and one need not be a hunter to admire them.

harles Henry Perdew passed away September 21, 1963 at age 89. As Clark wrote in Perdew’s biography, Charlie was “a rugged individualist, a great decoy maker and…a fine American who many people shall never forget.”

“Of all our folk arts, none is more strikingly American than the decoy”

HENRY••• PERDEW••• ILL.

Charlie Perdew's first decoys were "plain" with no name on the keel weight. Later, the keel weight was used to identify the maker or manufacture.

Waterfowl decoy without artistic color

Salt & Pepper Shakers, $2,000 value in 1999

Vigoré ?

At a Guyette & Schmidt , World’s Leading and North America Decoy auction, a decoy sold for over  

$230,000

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