Joseph W Lincoln

Joe Lincoln started carving decoys as a boy; those first wildfowl were miniatures that he made just for fun and later for sale. Most of the bodies were solid cedar or plne that Lincoln first hand-chopped and then smoothed with a drawknife. Lincoln would not use power tools, because he was convinced they did not afford the proper control for careful carving. A characteristic Lincoln decoy has a gently raised neck seat that flows into a low rounded chest. Arched backs give way to horizontal tails above flat bottoms. The birds portray several attitudes; some are swimming or preening while others are turned with their bills nestled under a wing. Lincoln’s painting displays symmetrical lines, and plumage patterns are simplified to further complement the unadorned carving of the decoy. His style of painting is highly stylized and reflects both brushed and stippled feathers. Lincoln did not limit himself to carving just a few species, but carved brant, buffleheads, canvasbacks, goldeneyes, mallards, mergansers, old squaws, pintails, redheads, ruddy ducks, scaup, teal, whistlers, wigeon and wood ducks. He also produced a handful of other species for special orders.