John Potts (1935-2019) from Princeton, New Jersey, was an outstanding decoy carver. He was a self-employed housepainter who began carving while recuperating from surgery in 1985. He studied with five-time world champion carver Tan Brunet in the Louisiana bayou and then began entering competitions, accumulating over 600 awards in his lifetime. In a 1991 newspaper article, Potts attributed his carving success to hours spent observing the waterfowl he kept in an aviary in his backyard. In 2004, one of his decoys was chosen to be the image for the New Jersey Waterfowl Stamp, a high honor for a carver. Potts was also a competition judge who was highly respected by other carvers.
This handsome Canada goose, hand carved and beautifully hand painted by Potts, has a carved tail with raised, crossed and inserted wing tips. The head is turned slightly left and has set-in glass eyes. It's identified on the bottom and marked with the Prime Plumage feather symbol and the date 87, with John Potts' hand written signature beneath. The 1987 date marks this carving as one of his earliest.
This miniature--but not tiny--carving measures 9 inches in length (one-quarter size the average length of the real thing) and 3 3/4 inches across the breast, with a height of 4 1/2 inches to the top of its head. It weighs about half a pound and is in excellent condition, both body and paint all original. This decoy by a master carver will be a valuable heirloom in the future and a point of pride in any collection.