A mallard hen duck decoy of polychromed carved wood with a lead keel weight on the bottom that reads "HENRY...PERDEW...ILL". The hen is varying shades of brown with a blue patch on each wing. Dimensions are 16" l x 6-1/2" h x 5-3/4" with See LVM1989.008.001 for the drake. Charles Perdew is the most widely known prolific and diversified carver in the Midwest. He began carving decoys at age 14 and hunted game for the Chicago restaurant and retail market as a teenager. He worked briefly at a Chicago meat packing plant and then as a carpenter on construction of the 1893 Columbian Exposition in Chicago. While in Chicago, Perdew attended painting classes at the Art Institute of Chicago. Perdew returned to Henry, IL in 1898, working as a gunsmith and opening a bicycle livery and repair shop. He gained a national reputation for his duck and crow decoys and calls; he also produced decorative miniatures and a double-bowed hunting boat that allowed the rower to face forward. Perdew carved nearly every native species, with mallards the most numerous. The wild mallard is the ancestor of all of our domestic ducks with the exception of the Muscovy; it is probably the most widely known wild duck in North America. They are the most prominent of the many wildfowl species that migrate through the Illinois River Valley each year. For that reason, hunters use more mallard decoys than any other kind, and nearly every decoy carver made more mallards than other species. The decoys usually came in pairs of drake and hen. How we learn about communities; American communities in history. 16 History; 18 Social Systems; 25-27 Fine Arts.