Folk Art

Ruffed Grouse Carved by Frank Finney
  • Carver Frank Finney was born Royland Frank Smith Finney, May 14, 1947 in Cornwall, England. Finney’s father, Herman David Finney, of Native American heritage, was born in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Herman Finney was a carver who joined the U.S. Navy and later was a culinary artist, carving flowers and birds from fruits and vegetables as decoration for government banquet tables. Frank’s mother, Ethel Grunvauld, was Dutch, born in South Africa. Frank Finney moved to the United States at the age of seven. As a boy, he spent much of his time carving decoys, as well as hunting, fishing and trapping. During the Vietnam War, Frank joined the Army, was wounded in action, and received many awards, including the Purple Heart, V-Valor Battalion Award and the United States Army Commendation Award.

    As a Folk Artist and Carver, Frank works in multiple mediums, including Wood, Stone, Bone and Shell. Frank Finney is discussed in numerous books and publications, represented in well-known collections. Many experts in the decoy and folk art world consider Frank Finney to be the best of his generation.

    Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus) are the most widely distributed resident game birds in North America. The Ruffed Grouse is one of 10 species of grouse native to North America and are one of the smaller birds in the group, ranging from 17 to 25 oz. Ruffed Grouse are somewhat larger than pigeons, living their entire lives in wooded areas. The males are usually slightly larger than the females. The name “Ruffed” was derived from the long, shiny, black or chocolate colored neck feathers that are most prominent on the male. When the cock is in full display in defense of his territory, or showing off to an interested hen, these feathers are extended into a spectacular ruff which, together with a fully fanned tail, makes him look twice his normal size. The male grouse proclaims his property rights by engaging in a “drumming” display. This sound is made by beating his wings against the air to create a vacuum, as lightning does when it makes thunder. The drummer usually stands on a log, stone or mound of dirt when drumming, and this object is called a “drumming log.”

    This is as good a carved grouse as you will find. It has Finney’s cursive brand signature on the base. 5 1/2" tall x 5 1/2". (And it’s a very good price for a Finney.)

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