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Elliston Pintail Drake Decoy
Elliston Pintail Drake Decoy
Resource Typeimage
TitleElliston Pintail Drake Decoy
Coverage / Yearc. 1900; Bureau, Illinois
DescriptionThis pintail drake decoy is painted in shades of brown, beige and black. The areas of attachment are visible, the head and two sections of body. The wood is cracked in a few places. There is a lead keel weight on the bottom with "THE ELLISTON DECOY" stamped into it. Dimensions are 17-3/8" l x 6-1/2" h x 5-3/4" with
InterpretationRobert Elliston is considered one of the top ranking decoy makers in Illinois because of the high quality of the construction, carving and painted decoration. Elliston was also one of the first commercial carvers in the state, producing decoys especially for sale. Elliston was born in Kentucky. He took jobs making buggy and carriage bodies in several factories, starting at the Studebaker shops in South Bend, Indiana and ending at the Brereton Buggy Shop in Lacon, Illinois in the heart of Midwest decoy country. In his 30s, Elliston started carving decoys for hunters as his main source of income, making thousands of mallards and other varieties. Collectors prize the decoys today because Elliston used the finest materials, he gave careful consideration to their balance and floating characteristics, and the quality of the carving. The placement of the eyes and the shape of the cheeks and head are distinctive on Elliston decoys, and later carvers have emulated his body shape. The decoy is comprised of two sections of hollowed out pine, with the seam positioned above the water line to lessen the chance of leakage and damage. Elliston's wife, Cartherine, painted his decoys. She was considered one of the most skillful decoy painters in the Illinois River Valley, using a combination of combing and brushwork to achieve a realistic finish that set the standard for other decoy makers.
Lesson Plans / ThemesHow we learn about communities; American communities in history;
Learning Standards16 History; 18 Social Systems; 25-27 Fine Arts;
Author or CreatorElliston, Robert A., 1849-1942; Elliston, Catherine
SourcePurchased by Lakeview Museum
Subject / KeywordsDecoys; Carving; Illinois River; Ellison, Robert A., 1849-1942; Ducks; Hunting
Collection PublisherLakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences;
Further InformationFor any further information related to this record, please contact the Collection Publisher. See for more information about this project.
Rights Management Statement
Resource IdentifierLVM1994.033
CONTENTdm file name7654921782002_Ellistondrake.jpg
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