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how to tell if cork decoys are collectors

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how to tell if cork decoys are collectors
I just picked up a dozen cork decoys. They appear to be LL Bean / Soule decoys. I bought them as working decoys but they guy that sold them to me said that some were well over 50 years old.

Some need paint, others tail boards, a couple need head repair. Before I go to work on these, how do I tell if any of these are collector pieces?

Thanks
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Re: how to tell if cork decoys are collectors In reply to
others may have different onions - but i expect most "factory" decoys need to be in very good to excellent condition to be at all collectable




"Just because the man does not offer you a drink Hastings, does not mean he is automatically guilty of other crimes" Agatha Christie's Poirot
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Re: how to tell if cork decoys are collectors In reply to
David~


For any decoys with a "pedigree", I always double-check with the owners before I re-paint them. But, most have only modest collectible value unless they are in very good condition and original paint. Dale Dalrymple at Dale's Decoy Den sells collectible Bean's birds. It might be worth scanning his site and maybe sending him some photos.


https://www.dalesdecoyden.com/



Otherwise, I do like putting old gunning gear - boats and decoys etc - back into useful condition - and then knowing they will go on to enjoy many more hunts.


All the best,


SJS





Steven Jay Sanford
Pencil Brook Farm
South Cambridge, NY
http://www.stevenjaysanford.com


Last edited by:

Steve Sanford: Jan 5, 2019, 5:51 PM
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Re: how to tell if cork decoys are collectors In reply to
To Steve's point. LL Bean made thousands of decoys. They are nice gunners for sure. Some might be rare for Beans as in only a couple of thousand made. Much like Herter's they will not command a lot of dollar value in your lifetime. I would just hunt with them unless you really have one you like in original condition. I bought a nice early pristine Brant from Dale that I wouldn't dream of repainting. I have 10 LL Bean mallards that I gun with that I repainted as blackducks. If they need tail board repair and head repair they aren't collectible. Your choice.
Joe
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Re: how to tell if cork decoys are collectors In reply to
Gunner they will be. I bought a dozen with carrying bag and weights for $250. Because I bought them as gunners I might have been a bit disappointed if I had had a collector in the mix.
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Re: how to tell if cork decoys are collectors In reply to
You did well at $20 a piece ? With all due credit to Steve, he did a really detailed refurb on LL Bean blocks that is the bible for gunners. I followed it on my rig. You cant go wrong.

https://stevenjaysanford.com/...blacks-and-mallards/



Joe
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Re: how to tell if cork decoys are collectors In reply to
Those do look great. Any recommendation on a tail board replacement how to?
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Re: how to tell if cork decoys are collectors In reply to
I saw out the old tailboard with a Japanese pull saw to keep the kerf as tight as possible. Use Masonite for the replacement. I also add a keel that was a staple on Al McCormick decoys. Adds a lot of strength to gunners. The skinny keel Bean uses isn't very rigid.
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Re: how to tell if cork decoys are collectors In reply to
Joe, were the Bean tailboards Masonite? Hopefully, you can still access tempered Masonite. I switched over to wood when the lumberyards here went with untempered. The big problem with that stuff is bagging dekes. The slightest bump or bang starts turning the tailboards to fuzz.
george@runamuckdecoys.com
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Re: how to tell if cork decoys are collectors In reply to
I did change some of the low head LL Beans to heads I carved to vary the look and make the spread more realistic appearing.

Joe
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Re: how to tell if cork decoys are collectors In reply to
I soak the Masonite with thinned spar varnish so it penetrates. I have used cedar that I cut when the kerf was big. I used to use luan door skin for tails but over time they delaminated. Local Home Depot had tempered Masonite that I recently purchased.

Joe
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Re: how to tell if cork decoys are collectors In reply to
 I would go with a marine ply. Epoxy the entire tail and heat with hair drier to soak in. I used it on merganser bills.
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Re: how to tell if cork decoys are collectors In reply to
David Allen wrote:
Gunner they will be. I bought a dozen with carrying bag and weights for $250. Because I bought them as gunners I might have been a bit disappointed if I had had a collector in the mix.


Good deal. I am clearly not paying enough attention to Craigs list and Uncle Henry's.

"At first blush I am tempted to conclude that a satisfactory hobby must be in large degree useless, inefficient, laborious, or irrelevant."
— Aldo Leopold