Physical description of brand:

DYE (serifs, all caps, no dots after letters) is a burned brand identifying a gunner/owner. Letters are 11/16” high, and each is ¾” wide, including serifs. Entire brand is 2 ½” wide x 11/16” high. There is a freeform “h” superimposed over the “Y,” although the intent of the alteration isn’t known. The superimposed “h” was actually part of the brand applied to this decoy.


This brand is on a canvasback drake made by John B. Graham, Charlestown MD, circa 1887. At one point it was part of a rig used by market hunter Richard K Barnes of Carpenters Point, Cecil County MD and bears his mark as well. The identical brand, complete with superimposed “h,” was used on at least two other known decoys of similar vintage, and others may exist. Given that few collectors have seen the brand, one assumes it was never used by the Dye family on any of their rigs, but little is known for certain.

This brand has been identified on the following decoys:

Decoy Maker Species Sex Other Brands on This Decoy
John Graham Canvasback Drake RKB for Richard K. Barnes, 1865-1934
John B. Graham Black Duck Drake


Initial Contributor: Steven Brown

Additional Contributors: Jim Lockard