It took $207,000 to buy a bufflehead drake decoy carved about 1910-1912 by Elmer Crowell (1862-1952). The amazingly high price (the estimate was $125,000 to $175,000) paid at a Decoys Unlimited auction on Cape Cod, Mass., wasn't even a record for a Crowell carving. Two of his birds, a pintail drake and a Canada goose, each sold for $1.3 million in 2007. Crowell started carving decoys for hunters to use, but by about 1918 he was selling decoys as decorations. Prices for exceptional decoys in great condition are going up and can sell for five or even six figures, according to the owner of Decoys Unlimited.
Photo: Decoys Unlimited. Inc.