Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rice Lake Canoe Catalog Paddles

Archive.org has a copy of the Rice Lake Canoe Co. Catalogue dated to 1900. The company was one of the many builders in southeastern Ontario at the turn of the 20th century and it's well illustrated catalogue showcases many style of canoes being built at the time. A short history of the company can be read here for anyone interested.

Page 14 of the document a full page ad with a series of paddles. They're all long deep-water paddles consistent with the deep lake water conditions of region. Check out those prices...$1.00 for an oiled Maple, Ash, or Spruce paddle!

Rice Lake Canoe Co. - Paddle Closeups

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cherry Gallery - Maine Guide Red Painted Paddle

The second paddle featured on the Cherry Gallery's October Current Selections page is this classic styled Guide Paddle from Maine. It's been painted with contrasting red paint for the blade and black paint for the shaft / grip. Another big one at nearly 6' long...

Painted Canoe Paddle
This is a classic handmade Maine guide paddle with a wide handle and blade. The blade is painted red and the shaft and handle are black. Handsome for hanging.
Circa 1910
5.5" w, 71" h

Still not as big as this rediculously huge 96" Guide Paddle posted on earlier, but a handsome paddle nontheless.

Undated Canoe Paddle,  96" x 6 - 3/4" 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Cherry Gallery - Model Penobscot Style Canoe Paddle

It's been a while since the Cherry Gallery has posted anything paddle related. Their October current selections page features two interesting antique paddles. The first is a cute model paddle with a distinctive stepped style grip commonly seen in some Penobscot paddles which formed the basis for the classic "Northwoods Style" grip favored by Alexandra Conover-Bennett...

Model Stepped-Handle Canoe Paddle
This small paddle has the classic stepped-handle shape of Maine Penobscot paddles. There is stippled decoration all along its perimeter, and the ever-wise sentiment "Paddle Your Own Canoe" is lettered on the blade to encourage self-reliance.
Circa 1920
2" w, 16.5" h

As a reference, here is (now sold) full-sized Penobscot paddle from another antique dealer in NY (see original post here)...

I'll have a second post up soon to showcase the Cherry Gallery's other paddle up for sale.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Abenaki Birchbark Paddle Stencil

This post from 2012 discussed a book source for some of the double curved motifs used in some of my paddle decorations.  Frank Gouldsmith Speck's  Symbolism in Penobscot art (1927) has some wonderful imagery and thorough historical discussion of these motifs. Figure 12 on Page 43 describes a piece of birchbark used as a stencil template to make symmetrical patterns on a paddle blade.

Recently, I found a similar image on this twitter feed. Apparently an artifact in the Smithsonian's NMAI collection, it is a partial image of a bark template for an Abenaki paddle. I've been unsuccessfully searching for a more complete image with historical details, so for now this image will have to do...

Abenaki, Paddle Stencil (detail)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

HBC Scarlet Paddle

A previous post describes the dimensions of Voyageur Paddles typically used by canoemen of the Hudson's Bay Company. It appeared in an article in the HBC's company journal, The Beaver. The September 1922 edition features a fur trade canoe with narrow paddles and an improvised sail from a scarlet red HBC point blanket.

Improvised sail with HBC point blanket

The 2nd episode of the marvelous documentary, Northern Wilderness by Ray Mears features a scene with typical trade goods laid out upon a similar point blanket. That vivid scarlet colour really stands out against the wilderness setting. Here's a screenshot from that Youtube clip

To capitalize on that nostalgia, HBC is now showcasing some paddles decorated with their iconic scarlet blanket theme.

HUDSON'S BAY COMPANY Scarlet 60 inch Paddle

This isn't the only HBC canoe gear that the company is marketing. This post from 2012 mentions how the company commissioned Langford Canoe to make some cedar canvas boats with their equally iconic multi-stripe pattern. Apart from the pretty decoration, these actual paddles don't interest me much. 

However, one mystery "HBC paddle" that I'm still trying to source out, is this one from New Brunswick which was etched with the initials HBC (see full post here). 

Mystery Malecite Paddle 

HBC carved into the grip

If anyone recognizes it or has more details, feel free to contact me...

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