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decoy carver Ralph Van Wagoner

Discussion in 'MichiganWaterfowl.com' started by duck, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. duck

    duck

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    Is there anyone that could give me any information about decoy carver Ralph VanWagoner or his son who also carved ducks. I am interested in what type of ducks they carved. I know they were from the Harbor Beach area and thats about all I know any info would be greatly appreciated. Also if anyone knows a carver named Bill Miller from the same area I would like to know anything about him and the decoys that he carved.
     
  2. Shiawassee_Kid

    Shiawassee_Kid

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    might help to post this on decoy forum on the refuge if you don't get any bites here. lots of decoy connoisseur's lurk there and can usually point you in right direction.
     

  3. D-Fresh

    D-Fresh

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    Ralph passed away a few years ago, I don't know that I ever met his son. My dad did a lot of work for him, VERY nice guy. Feel free to PM with any questions and I might be able to help you out.
     
  4. duck

    duck

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    thanks for the info,would you possibly have any photos of his decoys? i have an opportunity to get a dozen of his decoys, but I would like to see an example of his carving. I cannot find any of his work in any of my books. thanks again for your assistance.
     
  5. Cody Brown

    Cody Brown

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    I have a drake Bluebill decoy that Ralph carved circa 1950-1960. I have not seen many of his decoys, but they have many characteristics of Otto Misch decoys who was from Weale road near Bay Port MI. Ralph Van Wagener was born on June 12, 1925 and passed away at the age of 80 on November 27, 2005.
     
  6. flighthunter

    flighthunter

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    Wow, you dug up an oldie. I have one of his pintails from '72 that was given to me by one of my mother's good friends before he passed away. He said "I'd like your son to have this, rather than one of my grandkids, he'd probably appreciate it more". The tag on mine is scrolled with Royal Oak, MI... maybe he lived there for a bit. I'll post a pic later. I'm not a decoy connoisseur, but I think it's a dandy. It sits on my mantel.
     
  7. Cody Brown

    Cody Brown

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    Thanks for sharing, I would love to see pictures of the Pintail carved by Ralph. -CB
     
  8. Cody Brown

    Cody Brown

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    I don't recall Ralph Van Wagoner being from Royal Oak... Possibly different carver with the same name... Here is a Ralph Van Wagoner from Harbor Beach Drake Bluebill decoy in my collection, circa 1950.
     

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  9. stacemo

    stacemo

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    Well the internet isn't the best source of information. Not much similarity between those pintails and your bluebill as far as carving style. I like your bluebill better. It is a working decoy. Those Pintails look like mantle pieces.
     
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  10. Cody Brown

    Cody Brown

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    Thanks for sharing those decoys. I've never seen Ralph Van Wagener's work from Royal Oak. Ron Snow who is a friend mine was telling me that Ralph used to buy blocks and supplies from his dad (Walt Snow) back in the 1970's. CB
     
  11. stacemo

    stacemo

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    Also saw a good story about Ralph Van Wagoner family on the other site. Apparently there were 2 or 3 generations of carvers named Ralph Van Wagoner. Search for it. It is worth the read.
     
  12. population control

    population control

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    I have a blue bill just like the one above
    I was told it was a Ralph Van Wagner
    Has RVW painted on the bottom
     
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  13. Cody Brown

    Cody Brown

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    Thanks for sharing. Could you post a picture please, I'm interested in seeing the R.V.W painted on the decoy. Thanks CB