Pair of Whistling Partridge Decoys, probably British

Artist unkown

20th century

Tôle peinte (painted metal sheet)

Both heights: 24 cm

Each of these decoys, with its detailed plumage, has an opening in its throat. A small tube would originally have attached to each of them, with a small rubberised bulb at the end. When squeezed, air would have been pushed through the tube, like a set of bellows, producing a sound similar to the whistling of a partridge.

While such decoys would have been common in the 19th century, this pair have recently been identified as modern reproductions, and were often offered for sale in Parisian markets in the late 20th century