New world auction record of $201,250 for Ward Brothers Decoy

EASTON — Guyette & Deeter, Inc. conducted its annual Fall decoy auction on Nov. 10 at the Talbot County Community Center. It was held in conjunction with the Easton Waterfowl Festival.

It was accompanied by a 50 table dealer show. The auction grossed just over $1.8 million, with 33 lots selling for over $10,000 and 2 lots selling for over $100,000.
The top decoy in the sale was a museum quality “humpback” style pintail hen by the Ward Brothers that sold for $201,250, a world auction record for the Ward Brothers. The decoy was from the collection of Dr. Lloyd Griffith (Richmond, Va.), who purchased it in 1967 from Captain Amos Waterfield of Chestertown. The previous record was $109,750 for a goldeneye drake. It was set by Guyette & Deeter, Inc. in 2006.

The sale featured decoys and sporting art from the collections of John Baker, Dr. Lloyd Griffith, Joseph Hegarty, Porter and Patti Hopkins, Paul Tudor Jones II, Doug and Ellen Miller, Harold and Nancy O’Connor, Carl Olson, Gene and Dianee Orgeron, Greg Stanley, and Bruce Williams.

The Ward Brothers are Maryland’s most famous old time decoy carvers. Steve (1895 – 1976) and Lem Ward (1896 – 1984) carved thousands of working decoys and decorative bird carvings. They were also artists as well as friends and teachers to many beginning carvers and artists in the 1960s and 1970s. The Ward Brothers are featured in the books “The Ward Brothers A Collector’s Guide” by Ronald Gard and Brian McGrath and “The Story of Lem Ward” by Glenn Lawson. The Ward Museum in Salisbury was established in their honor.

Guyette & Deeter, Inc., established in 1984, is the world’s largest decoy auction firm with over $170,000,000 in decoy sales. They hold four cataloged auctions per year; Charleston, SC in February; St. Charles, Ill. in April; Portsmouth, NH in July; and Easton in November. For more details, visit their website at

Guyette & Deeter provides free decoy appraisals to anyone sending a decoy photo and stamped, self-addressed envelope to: Guyette & Deeter, PO Box 1170, St. Michaels, MD 21663. For e-mail send to:

Gary Guyette:, Phone: 410-745-0485. or Jon Deeter:, Phone 440-610-1768.

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