Updated: Jan 23
Every so often I'm asked to value a Stevens Decoy. Determining how much a buyer is willing to pay and a Seller willing to accept should be difficult for anyone to assert unless they have skin-in-the-game. It may seem Decoy Auctions set the market these days, but such events depend on at least two bidders having ardent interest in the same decoy, at the same time and under equal conditions. The variables are difficult to predict except by a broad range. In any case, auctions are sale events, not valuations.
Here’s what I offer about determining the value of a Stevens Decoy. First, you need to know exactly what you have and for that there’s my book; The Essential Guide To Stevens Decoys. The section entitled “Five Ways to Identify a Stevens Decoy” will teach you how to recognize, authenticate, attribute and date a decoy made by Harvey and George Stevens. The Weedsportal Blog supplements my book with new discoveries, the latest updates, relevant theories and insights to collecting Stevens Decoys . Then there's The Stevens Decoy Database which establishes every known species made by Stevens: hens and drakes; it contains examples from all time periods, both models, maker stamps, and collector markings. More than 550 decoys and 2,200 photographs are recorded with comments on paint, condition, provenance and my personal notes. It contains auction results from the past 33 years. The database is not published, but rather it is the tool I use to establish a decoy's maker, history and rarity. All this establishes value based on what the decoy actually is; not what is listed as being or sold for at action. If you have a decoy of interest, you can send me a few pictures (see email address on contact page) and I can give you a basic assessment. I can identify which Stevens brother is the maker, the rarity of the species and what else might be known about it or similar examples in the database.
There's no fee, no expectation, no unsolicited offers will be made, and any solicited offers will be made with skin-in-the-game. This site is meant to be entirely useful to collectors that want to learn about Stevens Decoys. It is to be shared so we can keep decoy collecting, and the Stevens Brothers, relevant in modern times. So please, subscribe free and send a link to this page www.stevensdecoys.com to a fellow collector or friend that may want to learn about collecting. Decoy collecting requires skin-in-the-game and we need more of it these days.