Gipp Sarri is a little-known carver who lived in Ely, Minnesota (dates unknown). Because Ely is a small town, he probably knew Frank Mizera and Bud Kromer very well. Gipp’s grandson still lives in Ely, as does his friend Dave Kromer (Bud’s Grandson). Gip’s grandson has a group of his decoy/jigs and still fishes with them. Gipp didn’t carve for the commercial market like Frank did, thus his pieces are extremely rare. Those pictured may be two of the very few left in un-fished condition. They probably date to the 1950’s because they are decorated with glass glitter. Glitter was used frequently on decoys made in Minnesota’s Iron Range during that time. It was derived from finely crushed glass Christmas tree ornaments, which were sprinkled on the wet paint of the decoy. The two examples pictured were originally painted silver and now appear gold in color due to yellowing of the varnish. Gipp highlighted the silver paint with black markings as shown in the photos. The eyes on both examples are carved and the exceptional craftsmanship results in a great looking fish. The two examples measure 4 3/4″ and 3 1/4 ” in length. It is not known if Gipp carved decoys without hooks, but they may exist out there somewhere.
Photos & Descriptions submitted by: Ken Hedmark