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Carverís work featured on many Massachusetts stamps

The Massachusetts duck stamp is the only state duck stamp to exclusively feature a decoy. The stamp celebrates the New England craft of decoy making by featuring artwork of a working decoy.

This results rather unusual rules, which Massachusetts spells out clearly. The decoy is required to be a working decoy by a known, unknown or deceased Massachusetts carver. No anchors or background material is allowed. The art is selected through an open competition. The resultant stamp series chronicles the best of both artistic pursuits; paintings and decoy making.

Joseph Whittington Lincoln (1859-1938) is widely recognized as one of Americaís best decoy carvers. Lincoln is pictured here in a rare snapshot by an unknown photographer outside his workshop in Accord, Massachusetts, holding a collection of his classic hunting blocks.

Lincoln chopped out his decoy bodies from white cedar logs using a hatchet, and carefully whittled the heads by hand. He meticulously painted each bird himself and set them out to dry on benches outside his workshop.

Lincoln carved the wood duck shown in this picture for his close friend Chester Spear. Although it was a working decoy, Spear liked the bird so much he chose to display it on his mantle rather than add it to his decoy rig. Widely considered an example of Lincolnís finest work, the decoy sold at auction for $165,000 in 1996. This decoy is pictured on the first Massachusetts duck stamp.

Lincolnís decoys have been pictured on five different state duck stamps in Massachusetts; 1974, 1985, 1987, 1989 and 1995.


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