President/CEO Surmet Corporation
- - -
August, 4, 2002
These decoys are part of Sam's* extensive collection of Early American Folk Art. These birds represent birds that are indigenous to the eastern flyway. They're so called "working decoys" as opposed to decorative decoys. These were used after the era of market hunters. The practice of large barrel multi shot hunting was banned in the early 1900's and at that time carvers began carving decoys for individual hunting. The wooden decoys were a specific interest of Sam's. The Eider decoys up under the rafters are working decoys and Sam and Frannie shot over those.
There are also marine working tools, from whale harpoons to blocks that came off sailing ships to trim or hoist sails or for rigging. There are blocks for working shrouds or stays. This one quite extraordinary one would have been fastened to the hull to support the shrouds. (not shown, 41" long x 4" wide w/ wooden block and three channels)
On his trips out west he collected Native American artifacts. Sam was a serious collector, he really enjoyed it.
*Sam Wakeman, 1907–1986, Tim Davis' father-in-law