Arts & Culture

For Sale: Heritage Sporting Art

Each year, the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition draws thousands of visitors to Charleston, South Carolina, for a weekend celebration of conservation and sporting pursuits. This year, those looking to take home a piece of sporting history will have a particularly excellent opportunity at Copley Fine Art Auctions’ Winter Sale. Hundreds of paintings and sculptures will be up for bid, including what Copley’s has called its finest offering of Southern decoys to date. Items on the block include a rare canvasback drake by Lee Dudley, of Knotts Island, North Carolina, and a Ward Brothers goose that’s expected to sell for more than $60,000, along with decoys from such noted artists as Ira D. Hudson and Nathan F. Cobb Jr. For collectors, they offer a remarkable glimpse into the craftsmanship of the time, says Copley decoy specialist Colin McNair. “Take a look at a Nathan Cobb piece and you’re going to see the materials he had available in nineteenth-century Virginia,” McNair says. “You’ll see pieces of wood salvaged from ships washed up on the shore near Barrier Island homes, and corrosion the salt has caused on the wood, the paint, and the nails.”

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