Spotlight Artist: Joseph Lincoln - Thomaston Auction
New England’s Trusted Auction & Appraisal Professionals.
51 Atlantic Hwy
Thomaston, ME 04861
207-354-8141 • 800-924-1032

November 1, 2023

Spotlight Artist: Joseph Lincoln

You probably noticed we have a very special collection of decoys in our November feature auction. While we always try to grace each auction with a selection of folk art and Americana, there is no doubt that decoys are always a fan favorite.

But what makes this specific selection so special? It’s because our first day of Autumn Majestic leads the entire sale with decoys made by folk artist Joseph Lincoln.

Joseph Lincoln, or Mr. Lincoln as he was properly called by his community, was born in Accord, Massachusetts in 1859. As a young man, Joe's need for his own decoys started his carving career. Over time, local hunters saw his work and admired the well-sculpted lines and durability, which led them to ask Joe to make decoys for them. As time went by, the demand for his full-size decoys and miniatures grew. At his passing in 1938, he was one of the most highly respected decoy makers in New England, leaving behind a legacy for the folk art and decoy communities.

Speaking of the folk art community, we were very lucky to work with Byron Bruffee from the Medomak Gallery, and receive their expertise and assistance with our collection of decoys at this auction.

In Byron’s words,

“Joseph Lincoln is a legend among the decoy collecting community. His works grace the shelves of most of the prominent private collections in the nation, as well as the finest museum collections in the country. Lincoln was somewhat of a renaissance man: besides his decoy carving, he was known to repair bicycles and clocks; made his own cameras; and was an award-winning cultivator of prize-winning dahlias at the Boston Flower Show.

Lincoln was well-respected in his community. A lifelong friend, Hingham resident, and Lincoln historian once told me that no one ever referred to him as Joe. It was always ‘Mr. Lincoln.’

The following 21 lots represent the finest grouping of miniatures by Joe Lincoln ever presented at auction. They exemplify Lincoln at the pinnacle of his career, and exhibit paint patterns and detail never before seen.”

An example of some of his works includes this incredibly rare miniature loon, the “rarest of the rare,” as Byron states. Listed as Lot 1001 in our Autumn Majestic auction, this one is slightly oversized and boasts a highly stylized and elaborate paint pattern never before seen on any Lincoln loon.

Another sampling of what we have in our Lincoln collection is Lot 1003, a Canada Goose.

“A superb example of a swimming Canada goose,” wrote Byron for the lot’s description.

“This bird has a very delicate feathering pattern (the stippling is heavier on most of his geese), and delineations on its wing tips, something almost never seen on geese. Overall, a wonderful example worthy of any collection.”

Interested in decoys and folk art works? You can sign up for our e-newsletters specifically for them! Simply fill out the form on our ‘Join E - Mail List’ or email with your special interests!

If you are interested in the Medomak Gallery, we highly recommend you check out their website at, and visit them at 2834 Atlantic Hwy in Warren, on Route One. We cannot thank them enough for their generous knowledge during the creation of this sale!

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Kaja Veilleux, ME AUC902
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