Naples, N.Y. – Waterfowl decoys serve an obvious utilitarian purpose for hunters, but these uniquely North American tools have evolved to become valuable forms of art – an art form with distinct regional influences in places like the Finger Lakes. One of the premier dealers in collectible decoys and sporting art in North America will give a talk on decoys in the Finger Lakes and perform free appraisals of attendees’ decoys. This free event, sponsored by the Bristol Hills Historical Society, takes place Saturday, Sept. 9, at 11 a.m. in the Historical Society’s Bristol Springs Grange Hall (Naples, NY).
“Like most regions, the Finger Lakes have a unique history of decoy evolution,” said the event’s featured speaker, broker Mike Martin of A&M Decoys & Folk Art. “They evolved into an important American art form from a Native American tool to lure waterfowl into the striking range of a bow or spear. Now, some of the finest examples reach to $1 million and reside in the most prestigious collections and museums.”
Martin’s talk will be followed by audience Q&A and an opportunity for attendees to handle a variety of antique and contemporary waterfowl decoys. Appraisals are limited to 10 per person but Martin encourages all to reach out with any appraisal questions as A&M Decoys & Folk Art offers free appraisals.
The Grange Hall, which turned 100 years old this year, is located at 6457 State Route 64, Naples NY 14512. Limited parking is available in front of the Grange Hall, preferably for those with limited mobility. Additional parking is available roadside and at the South Bristol Town Hall. The second floor lecture hall is not handicap accessible.
Martin’s business is on the web at andmdecoysandfolkart.com, on Facebook at /Aandmdecoysandfolkart, and on Instagram at /AandM_decoys_and_folkart.
The Bristol Hills Historical Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that was formed in 2020 through the merger of the historical societies of Bristol and South Bristol, N.Y. It cares for two of the region’s most distinctive historic buildings, the 1923 Grange Hall in Bristol Springs and the 1846 Methodist Episcopal Church in Bristol Center, both of which are on the National Register of Historic Places. The society’s website at bristolhillshistory.org and Facebook page at facebook.com/bhhistorical provide calendars of upcoming history presentations and other events, articles on local history, and historic photos. The website also provides information on the society’s popular illustrated book History and Mystery: The Folklore and Legends of the Bristol Hills, and on the Finger Lakes Barn Quilt Trail’s driving tour map and Facebook group, which are now hosted by the Historical Society.
The Historical Society is volunteer-run and members-supported. Annual donor levels starting at $15 for individuals and $30 for families can be purchased on the society’s website or at any of the society’s free events.
Photo: Mike & Alyson Martin - Owners A&M Decoys & Folk Art
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