We are wasting no time at Leland Little in taking advantage of the momentum of the new year. One of the many exciting developments here for 2021 is the addition of a Sporting Art Department to the roster of our areas of expertise. Enter the right honorable Robbie Smith, duck decoy and sporting expert extraordinaire. A North Carolina native who grew up in a multi-generational hunting family, Robbie has been immersed in the decoy and sporting art world for decades. He is on the Board of Directors at The Core Sound Waterfowl Museum and Heritage Center, he co-curated a decoy exhibit at the Ducks Unlimited Heritage Museum in Memphis, TN, and he produced the documentary film "Core Values." And so naturally, with all that hunting knowledge to his name, today we're asking him the REALLY important question, i.e. "what's your favorite chair from The Winter Estate Auction?"
LLA: We are so excited to have you on board to head up our new Sporting Art Department! As an expert in the, ahem, "field," tell us what makes you love duck decoys. To those of us who are duck novices, it feels like a very specialized interest.
RS: I love decoys because they are an art form that was never intended to be art. I believe decoys are the finest form of indigenous American folk art there is. I particularly love the decoys that were made on the North Carolina coast since I grew up hunting and fishing in the exact places where they were made.

LLA: What's the most interesting decoy you've collected or come across?
RS: I love the decoys made by James Best of Kitty Hawk, NC. They are pure sculptural masterpieces. He made these great works of art for the sole purpose of attracting ducks so they could be killed. I find that extremely interesting.
LLA: Ok, now to the chair. Why did you choose this particular chair? It does have a nice hunting lodge vibe to it.......
RS: I just love big leather chairs.....put that in a room with a few southern decoys, a glass of whiskey, and The Avett Brothers on the airwaves. Life would be great!
LLA: Do you collect anything besides decoys?
RS: I have a collection of old bamboo fly rods. I still enjoy fishing with handmade bamboo fly rods and I also love hunting over real wood decoys.

LLA: Is there any other item or category at Leland Little that keeps catching your eye now that you're around the gallery? I know I found myself much more drawn to the art once I started working here than I had been when I was just a bidder.
RS: Yes.....I love looking at all the flat art and I have gone out of my way to admire the nice old grandfather clocks. We have a reproduction at home and we would love a nice authentic grandfather clock.
LLA: Here's your "desert island" question: what one non-essential item (other than food, clothing, or shelter) would you want if you were stranded on a desert island?
RS: An 8 weight fly rod. I could entertain myself while I catch food!

LLA: Duke or Carolina?
RS: Carolina!! My daughter went to a Duke TIP educational program and I could not even write the check. My wife had to do it!
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Thursday, January 28th