The following is an excerpt from "The Best Decoys" by C. John Sullivan published in the Winter-Spring 2006 issue of The Canvasback magazine.

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I have been collecting decoys for the past 40 years.  I cannot accurately state how many decoys I've handled over this period of time, but I'm confident that it has been many thousands.  In addition to my own collection, I have been fortunate to have examined multitudes of decoys for appraisals and auction purposes......In the late 1980's on my personal never-ending quest for the wooden fowl, I was honored to be invited into the home of Mrs. J. Smith Michael of Aberdeen, Maryland.  Mrs. Michael inherited some wonderful decoys from her late husband; there were Mitchells, McGaws, and others from the Havre de Grace area.  The Michael family had long been associated with waterfowling on the Susquehanna Flats.  Standing above all the Michaels' decoys was a pair of Holly family decoys, decorative canvasbacks from Havre de Grace.  These decoys had been a wedding present to Mr. Michael's parents over a hundred years earlier......More than 25 years has past since that initial viewing, and sadly Mrs. Michael has moved on to the next world.  She was true to her word in that the decoys were never offered for sale to anyone, and the pair is now in the collection of the Havre de Grace Decoy Museum......I recently had the opportunity to handle this great pair of decoys.  I can say without any hesitation, without any reservations, that these decorative Holly canvasbacks are THE BEST DECOYS that I have ever touched.  Bar none, they are the Premier Decoys to come from the Chesapeake region. 

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The Decoy Museum welcomes donations and consignments for each of our four annual auctions.

Carvers are encouraged to participate in the carving competitions associated with the Annual Decoy & Wildlife Art Festival. To obtain an entry form and a copy of the rules, contact our Coordinator of Special Events at (410) 939-3739.


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Havre de Grace Decoy Museum Havre de Grace, Maryland

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