Saturday, December 19, 2015

Historic Paddle Illustration: James Peachey - decorated paddles

The online exhibit, Heritage Passages, features some more detailed full-sized images of historic Canadian artwork no longer in copyright. Among them is James Peachey's   Southeast view of Cataraqui on Lake Ontario

Southeast view of Cataraqui (Kingston) on Lake Ontario
James Peachey, James Peachey collection
Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1989-221-5, C-001511
1 watercolour / aquarelle : watercolour and pen and ink over pencil on paper
August 1785

The watercolour painting shows two canoes in the immediate foreground. The illustrated paddles have a simple but clearly visible decorative pattern. They all consist of highly contrasting divided pattern of red and black.

Decorated Paddle Closeup

Decorated Paddle Closeup

Red pigmentation seems to be a commonly used decorative item for paddles in this era. For another example of Peachey's canoe artwork with painted paddles, see this post here

As an aside, New York's Metropolitan Museum of the Arts has a bark canoe model with similarly decorated paddles in their collection dated to pre-1845 (original post HERE) although of course the pigment has faded with time.

Canoe Model with Accoutrements
Ralph T. Coe Collection, Gift of Ralph T. Coe Foundation for the Arts, 2011
Accession Number: 2011.154.6a–p

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