Collecting

Decoys are among the most prized collectibles.

Outdoor Life Online Editor

History: The most famous carvers of wooden decoys perfected their craft in the late 19th century. Carving expertise and intricacy of painting are two determinants of decoy quality.

**Michelangelo of Carvers: **Anthony Elmer Crowell (1862-1961) of East Harwich, Mass.

**Most Expensive Decoy: **A preening pintail drake made by Crowell in 1910 sold for $801,500 at auction in April 2004. ufamous names: Crowell, Ira Hudson, Mandt Homme, Enoch Reindahl, Russ Barr, Madison Mitchell, Lem and Steve Ward.

**Other Makers: **Mason Decoys of Detroit (1896-1924) produced thousands of working decoys. uValue Points: Original paint, maker's mark, proof of provenance.

Collectors' Sources: Guyette & Schmidt Auction House, www.guyetteandschmidt.com; Decoy Magazine, www.decoymag.com; and Easton Waterfowl Festival, www.waterfowlfestival.org