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Sold to a private Massachusetts collector
Atlantic Salmon Model
Grand Cascapedia River, Quebec, 1920s
Charles Edward “Shang” Wheeler (Stratford, Connecticut, 1872–1949)
Carved and painted pine
Length 47", Girth 24", Weight 37 lbs., 7 oz.
Courtesy of Stephen B. O’Brien, Jr.

This rare carving was sold in the six figures on the opening night of The American Antiques Show in New York (January 2002). Having recently emerged from a private Connecticut collection, it is one of the most important American fish carvings to have ever come on the market. Most nineteenth- and twentieth-century Atlantic salmon models were made in England or Scotland; American models of this quality are extremely rare.

Shang Wheeler is known as one of Connecticut’s finest decoy carvers. Following in the path of Ben Holmes and Albert Laing, Wheeler refined the Stratford carving style and is also known for his fish models. This 37-pound salmon carving is one of the largest and most detailed examples he ever made.

The life-size carving is mounted on a backboard and was made to hang in an unusual vertical format.

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