Ask the Old Guy – May/June 2017 Issue

Hi Old Guy,
   I don’t know a thing about duck decoys, but I purchased this one at an auction last month just because I liked the look of it. It has the initials TM carved into the underside of its body and I was wondering if you would know anything about who made it? The auctioneer didn’t know.
Jessica Watson, Hamilton.
Hi Jessica,

 

     I am by no means an expert on decoys, and just like you I usually buy because I like the look or the lines of a decoy. I do know however who carved yours. The TM carved on the bottom of yours stands for Tom Martindale. I know him personally and have bought many decoys from him. He has been carving decoys and shorebirds for close to fifty years. He comes from family of carvers. His father and grandfather carved and his son carves as well. His daughter is a well-known artist in British Columbia. There are many stories about Tom. I have seen his decoys of his promoted on sites like eBay listing him as the “late” Tom Martindale who carved in Maine in the ‘70s and others describing him as a carver from Chesapeake Bay. The truth is that he is Canadian and is alive and well and still carving. He lives in southern Ontario. In fact, I met with Tom as recently as last week to purchase some of his shorebird carvings. He is a very talented artist and his decoys are quite collectible.

 

     Enjoy your purchase.  I’m sure you’ll get many compliments on your bird.
            The Old Guy

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