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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Wild Turkey, Francis Lee Jaques; 1945
Estimate: $15,000-20,000

Courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions

Black-Bellied Plover, by Nathan F. Cobb Jr.; Cobb Island, VA, c. 1880
Estimate: $10,000-15,000

Courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions

Mallards, by Francis Lee Jaques (1887-1969)
Estimate: $18,000-24,000
This painting belonged to G. Everett Hoyt, Sr., who owned Mulberry Plantation in Moncks Corner, South Carolina. The plantation was established in the early eighteenth century by Thomas Broughton, the Royal governor of South Carolina, and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1963.

Courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions

Wigeon Pair, by Anthony G. Murray; Pungo, VA, c. 1990
Estimate: $1,000-1,500

Courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions

The Retriever, by Frank W. Benson; 1916
Estimate: $5,000-7,000

Courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions

Tarpon’s Tempest, by Peter Corbin; 1989
Estimate: $12,000-18,000

Courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions

Foigh-a-Ballagh, by John Frederick Herring, Sr.; English; 1844
Estimate: $10,000-20,000

Courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions

Canvasback Drake, by Lee Dudley; Knotts Island, NC, c. 1900
Estimate: $40,000-60,000

Courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions

Setting Decoys, by Frank W. Benson; 1923
Estimate: $4,000-5,000

Courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions

Horse and jockey weathervane, by J.W. Fiske Ironworks, c. 1900
Estimate: $3,000-5,000

Courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions

Miniature Yellowlegs, by Mark S. McNair; Craddockville, VA, 2013
Estimate: $600-900

Courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions

Brittany on Point, by Owen Gromme; 1970
Estimate: $8,000-10,000

Courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions

Silver Ghosts, by Kent Ullberg
Estimate: $6,000-8,000
Ullberg is the 2016 Featured Artist for The Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, and fifty percent of the proceeds from the sale of Silver Ghosts will support the conservation group.

Courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions

Bull Moose, by Carl Clemens Moritz Rungius; 1909
Estimate: $150,000-250,000

Courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions

Canada Goose, by The Ward Brothers, Lemuel T. and Stephen; Crisfield, MD, c. 1936
Estimate: $60,000-80,000

Courtesy Copley Fine Art Auctions