Living in Dutchess County, New York and a stones throw from the Hudson River, I received a call from a neighbor telling me they were selling their summer camp and wanted me to help them sell the contents. Needless to say, it was my pleasure as the camp was deep in the woods and looked like it was from the movie "Deliverance!" but far more charming. As we went through the cottage, many wonderful years of collecting locally started to emerge from Deer head mounts to rustic paintings, carvings, hooked rugs, country furniture and fishing gear. We started inventorying the cottage about a week later and one of the most exciting objects we found was this wonderful Cat Fish Decoy / Carving which they recall having bought decades earlier at a farm sale. We were commissioned to sell the entire contents which we did however I favored this fish decoy and decided to live with it for awhile until I signed up for this online show and here it is. It measures 16 inches long by 5 1/2 inches tall fin to fin and 1 1/2 inches thick. It appears to be carved out of pine and has original paint, fins and feelers at the mouth. It also has a weight drilled and inserted in the bottom for ballast. The tail is a separate piece of old thick leather inserted into the slotted tail section and held by one nail. The eyes are a tiny metal disc and painted. With so many new and reproduction fish decoys surfacing, I am confident and will guarantee the authenticity and originality of this piece though quite large for another fish to feed on, the Hudson River can churn up some surprisingly large fish.
Carved and Painted Cat Fish Decoy