RM178 Pair of Canvasback decoys by Norris E. Pratt (1904-1975) Kemblesville, Pennsylvania dated on bottom 1963 and painted by Bob Coleman, original paint and perfect condition.
Those familiar with Norris Pratt recognize him as one of the early collectors, dealers and scholars of Upper Chesapeake Bay decoys. His creative mind, inquisitive nature, and attention to detail are all evident in the Susquehanna Flats chapter that he wrote for Robert H. Richardson’s 1972 book, “Chesapeake Bay Decoys, The Men Who Made and Used Them.” But other than the familiar picture of him in that book, leaning on a fence in his white undershirt and holding an Upper Bay canvasback, many have little knowledge of the man. Pratt was a talented and creative carver, who in addition to making his own decoys, many for gunning use, could replicate decoys by many early Chesapeake Bay carvers with incredible accuracy. Yet despite his superior woodworking abilities, he called on well-known decoy makers of the day—including Lem Ward, Charlie Joiner, “Cigar” Daisey, “Corb” Reed, Jim Pierce and Bob Coleman, his favorite collaborator—to paint his decoys, noting his limited abilities with a brush.