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Wing-Up Greater Yellowlegs, A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952)

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Wing-Up Greater Yellowlegs, A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952)
Item Details
Description
Wing-Up Greater Yellowlegs
A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952)
East Harwich, MA, c. 1930
12 1/4 in. tall, 8 in. long

A rare and exceptional greater yellowlegs with a raised wing and preening feather. Crowell was a master of preening forms, and he used this special wing-up model to showcase his deft painting abilities. He seems to thrive within the self-presented challenge of doubling the size of his canvas and adding two different plumage presentations, one on each side of the wing.

This grand wing-up mantel bird has carved tail feather detail and a dropped left wing tip. The bill tip is slightly open and preening an individual feather made from metal. It is signed by the maker on the bottom of the base "A. E. Crowell, Cape Cod," and "Winter Yellowlegs" and marked with the rectangular stamp.

Playing to the Cape Codder's strengths, it is no surprise that this model has been coveted and challenging to acquire since its introduction in the late 1920s. Harry V. Long illustrates a virtually identical greater (winter) yellowlegs carving in his 1932 journal with a caption reading "Elmer Crowell at work, he promised me that winter [yellowlegs] on the right four years ago -- 'just a dream.'" David and Peggy Rockefeller owned a Mackey Collection bookend-pair of raised-wing lesser yellowlegs, which were stars in the sale of their bird carving collection. Additionally, a singular wing-up curlew now resides in the Tom and Tania Evans Collection and was featured prominently on the inside back cover of the "Elmer Crowell: Father of American Bird Carving" book.
Excellent original paint with light wear.

Provenance: Michael Boxer Collection

Literature: Stephen B. O'Brien Jr. and Chelsie W. Olney, "Elmer Crowell: Father of American Bird Carving," Hingham, MA, 2019, pp. 146-147, 258-261, back inside cover, wing-up mantle birds illustrated. Christie's, "The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller," New York, NY, May 10, 2018, lot 1017, related lesser yellowlegs pair illustrated. Brian Cullity, "The Songless Aviary," Hyannis, MA, 1992, p. 78, pl. 35, related bird illustrated and discussed. Kory W. Rogers, "Birds of a Feather," Shelburne, VT, 2017, p. 114, related example illustrated. Richard A. Bourne Co. Inc., "Very Rare and Important American Bird Decoys, from the Collection of the late William J. Mackey, Jr. of Belford, New Jersey," Hyannis, MA, Session III, August 21, 1973, lot 285, Mackey-Rockefeller lesser yellowlegs pair illustrated.
Condition
Please email condition report requests to colin@copleyart.com. Any condition statement given is a courtesy to customers, Copley will not be held responsible for any errors or omissions. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition.
Buyer's Premium
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Wing-Up Greater Yellowlegs, A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952)

Estimate $30,000 - $50,000
Jul 15, 2022
See Sold Price
Starting Price $15,000
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Ships from Hingham, MA, United States
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0355: Wing-Up Greater Yellowlegs, A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952)

Sold for $70,000
25 Bids
Est. $30,000 - $50,000Starting Price $15,000
The Sporting Sale 2022, Day 2
Jul 15, 2022 10:00 AM EDT
Buyer's Premium 23%

Lot 0355 Details

Description
...
Wing-Up Greater Yellowlegs
A. Elmer Crowell (1862-1952)
East Harwich, MA, c. 1930
12 1/4 in. tall, 8 in. long

A rare and exceptional greater yellowlegs with a raised wing and preening feather. Crowell was a master of preening forms, and he used this special wing-up model to showcase his deft painting abilities. He seems to thrive within the self-presented challenge of doubling the size of his canvas and adding two different plumage presentations, one on each side of the wing.

This grand wing-up mantel bird has carved tail feather detail and a dropped left wing tip. The bill tip is slightly open and preening an individual feather made from metal. It is signed by the maker on the bottom of the base "A. E. Crowell, Cape Cod," and "Winter Yellowlegs" and marked with the rectangular stamp.

Playing to the Cape Codder's strengths, it is no surprise that this model has been coveted and challenging to acquire since its introduction in the late 1920s. Harry V. Long illustrates a virtually identical greater (winter) yellowlegs carving in his 1932 journal with a caption reading "Elmer Crowell at work, he promised me that winter [yellowlegs] on the right four years ago -- 'just a dream.'" David and Peggy Rockefeller owned a Mackey Collection bookend-pair of raised-wing lesser yellowlegs, which were stars in the sale of their bird carving collection. Additionally, a singular wing-up curlew now resides in the Tom and Tania Evans Collection and was featured prominently on the inside back cover of the "Elmer Crowell: Father of American Bird Carving" book.
Excellent original paint with light wear.

Provenance: Michael Boxer Collection

Literature: Stephen B. O'Brien Jr. and Chelsie W. Olney, "Elmer Crowell: Father of American Bird Carving," Hingham, MA, 2019, pp. 146-147, 258-261, back inside cover, wing-up mantle birds illustrated. Christie's, "The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller," New York, NY, May 10, 2018, lot 1017, related lesser yellowlegs pair illustrated. Brian Cullity, "The Songless Aviary," Hyannis, MA, 1992, p. 78, pl. 35, related bird illustrated and discussed. Kory W. Rogers, "Birds of a Feather," Shelburne, VT, 2017, p. 114, related example illustrated. Richard A. Bourne Co. Inc., "Very Rare and Important American Bird Decoys, from the Collection of the late William J. Mackey, Jr. of Belford, New Jersey," Hyannis, MA, Session III, August 21, 1973, lot 285, Mackey-Rockefeller lesser yellowlegs pair illustrated.
Condition
...
Please email condition report requests to colin@copleyart.com. Any condition statement given is a courtesy to customers, Copley will not be held responsible for any errors or omissions. The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition.

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