Leonard E. Pryor

(1876 - 1967) Elkton, MD

Leonard Pryor was a carver who offers two distinct views of his artistry. His earlier style may have been influenced by Henry (1868 – 1944) and George (1866 – 1931) Lockhard who produced finely carved decoys with prominent bills and tails. Pryor’s early birds followed the Lockhard’s use of detailing, inctuding half moon nostrils in their bills and tails that are slightly upswept beginning down the middle of the body. As with the Lockhards, Pryor included an iron keel. His sleepers and preeners, are distinctive and unique birds showing the evolution of his considerable skill.

His later style, possibly developed while living in Chesapeake City, feature smooth, finely carved decoys with no noticeable shelf and smaller bill detail. Several of his birds appear to be similar to the style found on the lower Delaware River with raised wing carvings. Pryor is credited with a number of well-carved canvasback, scaup, black duck and pintail decoys.

For additional information see:

Chesapeake Bay Decoys and Their Makers, 1989 by David and Joan Hagan.

Decoy Magazine, July/Aug. 1990.

Decoy Magazine, July/Aug. 1987.

Decoy Magazine, Fall 1979.

Decoys of the Mid-Atlantic Region, 1979 by Henry A. Fleckenstein.