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Les Kouba's Trademarks: 
The Kouba"13" and His Signature



Arlen Axdahl

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Les C. Kouba's Funeral Card Image Funeral Card

Kouba's friend, Paul King, of Duragraph Inc. mentioned to Kouba that he noticed he always painted 13 birds in his paintings. Kouba had never noticed that he did this but from this time on he always painted 13 items in his paintings. The very first of the famous 13 was a pencil sketch done on a paper hand towel, framed, from when Kouba worked at the Onan Corp. during WWII. There is one main "Mallard" then 12 mallard dots in the background under the mallards beak. It was sold for $5,000 to a private collector in Andover, MN. The 13 concept completed a full circle for Kouba when it appeared on his funeral card.

Les Kouba pencil sketch of a mallard and 12 dots for a total of 13 mallards. First work using 13 ducks.

Kouba was known for a second trademark, his signature. It was very stylized appearing almost oriental. It evolved over the years until he reached a signature he really liked.

Kouba's Signature






Graphics and text is based on Kay Johnson's. The Legacy of Les C. Kouba. Minnesota: American Wildlife Art Galleries, 1988, p. 19.



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Last updated June 29, 2020.