Antique carved birds as steampunk treasures

Jim Mullan's "reconfigured" antique decoy-birds have been painted and modded to make them into steampunk delights. These are just fabulous. The birds were left to the artist by his father, and this is all there are.

The vintage bird collection, designed by Jim Mullan, was inspired by his fascination with birds and antique objects. The crows were used as hunting decoys in the 30’s and 40’s and the smaller birds were carved in the 1950’s. The original decoys were passed on to Jim in 1991 and just recently he has turned each into an eclectic, one of a kind piece of art. You can see Jim’s lively sense of humor in each one of his creations.

Jim begins by hand painting each bird and then adds a variety of vintage pieces when creating his sculptures. The unusual relics he uses, such as croquet balls, binoculars and old toys give each inspiring bird his own personality. Objects that were cast aside as useless are used in his designs to demonstrate the fragile balance between nature and industry.

Mullanium (via Neatorama)


  1. So he took real antiques, and turned them into gaudy fake antiques.

    Sorry, I don’t get it.

  2. #1 better yet, he took examples of one of the only kinds of folk art essentially unique to the US and Canada (hunting decoys) that’s irreplacable and destroyed it’s historical value.

    As cool as they are, there are plenty of contemporary sources.

  3. Hy, wht ds “stmpnk fckng scks” mn? kp sng t n ths stmpnk rtcls, s t sm knd f stmpnk ctchphrs?

  4. As an artist I appreciate his choice of materials. It takes a lot of balls to mod an antique. One fuck up and you’ve destroyed not only your work but a little peice of history. I wouldn’t be willing to take that kind of risk.

  5. This guy comes to Central Pennsylvania Arts Fest every year in State College. Always a joy to take a close look at his work, how delicate and careful it all is. #1 and #3, art is about reinventing sometimes. You can’t keep all those decoys locked up in a museum, because unfortunately the public isn’t going to really appreciate it. I’m sure there’s many more decoys out there that are well taken care of. He’s taking a few and making some real, beautiful artwork out of it.

  6. i dig it… preservationists are a bit “meh” IMO. tons of future antiques are being created constantly.

  7. Thy r cl. Wht xctly mks thm “stmpnk”? Sms lk flk rt t m. Hs nyn dvlpd fltr cld nstll t wd t th trm “stmpnk” whn rd BngBng? t wld mk th xprnc mch mr njybl.

  8. ‘m wth #12. Why pply th trm “stmpnk” t vrythng wth dcrtv mtl bts n t? Stmpnk s bt tchnlgy, nt bt dcrtn.

    Nw prdn m whl g dcrt my Tffny lmp wth clrd LDs.

  9. gr wth th tw prvs cmmnts. dn’t thnk thr’s nythng rmtly stmpnk bt ths wndrfl bjcts.

    Wht ds dd mn t dd trndy rtrnym lk tht t smthng, spclly whn t my dtrct frm th rtst’s ntnt?

  10. gr wth ll th stmpnk cmmnts.

    ls, nw ntqs r nt bng md vry dy. Nt lk ths. Nt nly hv w lst rrplcbl wrks, h dstryd smthng hs fthr lft hm whch fnd nfthmbl.

  11. #4, 12, 14, etc. What’s up with writing in code? Is your keyboard broken, or am I not cool enough to understand what you’re trying to say?

  12. I have not seen any songbirds (like the small birds Mullan paints) that were ANTIQUE DECOYS and used as decoy birds in the past.

    A perousal of antique decoys show no birds that are song birds like thes, whether from the 1950s or any time for that matter

  13. Saw some of his work in person today at an artist co-op in Boulder. The explaination given to us was they aren’t the original decoys. They are duplicates from the originals. Secondly they weren’t from his father but rather a friend’s father. One of the fellow artists at the co-op shared this background with us.

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