This is a North American wooden duck decoy probably from the late 19thC to early 20thC. It could possibly be designed to be a teal due to the blue/green painted markings to the body of the model.
The underside is stamped with an impressed mark: ‘W. F. HALSEY’. This could be an indication of the artist/modeller, or the original owner. An internet search produced the name William Frederick Halsey Sr. (1853-1920) who was born in New York, was a descendant of United States Senator Rufus King, and entered naval service a midshipman at the Naval Academy in September 1869. He was eventually promoted to the rank of captain in 1906 and retired from the Navy in 1907. His son, also William Frederick Halsey (1882-1959), went on to be Fleet Admiral. It is possible that either of these gentlemen could have owned and gone hunting with this decoy.
There is beautiful patina to the paint work commensurate with age and use as a hunting decoy. There is some wear and damage to the beak and top of the head, and a crack in the neck – there is no movement though, it is very firm, and it could have been repaired by the original owner (see photos).
This is a fantastic decorative item, and a wonderful piece of social history.
The duck measures approximately 45 cm in length and weighs over 2.5kg