Thursday, November 16, 2017

Circa 1860 Maple "Delaware" Paddles

Browsing through a 1990's publication, Warman's Native American CollectiblesI came across a small listing for a pair of canoe paddles dated to the 1860's.



Made from maple, the paddles feature a wide tipped blade with long, sloping shoulders and a curious grip with 3 drilled holes.  The blade decoration on both paddles feature a blackish and brown-red dual motif (similar to the PEM Anishinabe Souvenir Paddle) and a series of dots rising up to the throat.




Sunday, November 12, 2017

Historic Paddle Illustration: Undated Verner with Chevrons

Here's a black and white image of an untitled and undated painting by Frederick Verner ( 1836 – 1928).  In the foreground is a decorated paddle resting on an overturned bark canoe.

Untitled Work
Frederick A. Verner  ( 1836 – 1928).  


The paddle features splashes of decorative paint on the blade leading up to the throat. Also just visible on the pear shaped grip is a tiny triangular motif...


Paddle Closeup




Although unrelated,  2015 auction item, the circa 1900 Folk Decorated Canoe Paddle  also has a triangular motif carved into the pear shaped handle

See Full Post here


Verner's whole scene is basically another subtle version of another titled work - Ojibway Indian Encampment (1873) described in this earlier post from 2009. That oil version, however, shows a paddle with a red painted tip.


Ojibway Indian Encampment
by Frederick Arthur Verner, 1873
Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph, Ontario
Object number: MS2004.066



Thursday, November 9, 2017

Two-piece wood canoe pole

Another side project this season was to construct a two piece, wooden canoe pole. My hope with this piece of gear was to have a functional pole that could breakdown for transport and be used in camp for a tarp shelter or with the baker tent.

Inspired by RavenJester's detailed tutorial, "Building aTwo-piece Home Depot Canoe Pole", I set about doing some research for the all important ferrule to connect the pieces. RavenJester's writeup mentioned a stainless steel one but I couldn't source one with decent shipping.

Instead, I ended up going a bit more high tech and order a carbon fibre ferrule meant for the thicker shaft of Greenland style kayak paddles. With a 35.81mm inner diameter and 38.6mm outer diameter, it would work nicely with the roughly 1.5" intended diameter of the spruce / fir poles.

Took some time to sort through the pile of lumber, but in the end scored a real nice piece of 2x10x8 at the local Home Depot . The board had very straight grain lines along one side with the added bonus of being knot-free in that section. I ripped two 1.5" strips and then worked the pieces round a crooked knife. This was much earlier in the season when the lawn was in good shape...


Once worked down and lightly sanded, the two pieces of the ferrule were epoxied into place. As a test, I stood on the porch steps and leaned on the pole as if pushing upstream in a hard current. The connection felt pretty solid and the poles flexed pretty evenly. In the end, I messed up a bit of the calculations so that one piece is a few inches taller than the other. I had forgotten to factor in the lag bolt at the foot.




The wood has yet to be treated. I'm thinking of painting some has marks on the bottom portion every foot or so to be able to gauge the depth of the stream while poling.


This pole is actually longer than my 11 foot one-piece made back in 2010. It's a tad over 12 feet. For the shoe I salvaged a piece of copper pipe I found in a box a scrap metal left out by a neighbour on garbage day. It has an outer diameter of  1-3/8" so I didn't have to shave the bottom of the pole too much. A large washer, lag screw and some bolts and the homemade foot is good to go.

Copper and lag bolt shoe

Hoping a spring poling trip will be in the cards...



Monday, November 6, 2017

1794 Mi'kmaq Canoe Model & Paddle - Musee Beaux Arts - Rennes

Found an image update of the the Mi'kmaq canoe model with decorated paddle at the Museum of Fine Arts - Rennes (original post here).



Modèle de canot avec rame
Inv 794.1.782
Museum of Fine Arts     RENNES



As mentioned earlier, the model was assumed to be collected by Christophe-Paul de Robien (1698-1756), a French ethnographer and historian. After the French Revolution, his personal collection inherited by his descendants was seized by the State and distributed to what became the Museum of Fine Arts of Rennes. During that inventory process, it was inscribed with a date of 1794 but the original construction date is likely earlier.

Accompanying the canoe is a single paddle with a pole grip and a decorated blade. Although faded, it appears that half the blade was painted with a red pigment creating a simple "yin/yang" effect.

Robien's curiosity collection is on exhibition at the Museum. A virtual tour and description (in French) can be read on this blog post here. Tucked on a bottom shelf is the canoe model with the dual toned, pole grip paddle displayed on top.


photo credit: Camille Janin






Thursday, November 2, 2017

Historic Paddle Photo: Standing Guide with Paddle

Here's a vintage photo from this Ebay Ad featuring a Guide standing up in the stern of his wood canvas canoe while a passenger takes a seat in the bow.



A closeup revelas the Guide's long paddle resting on the dock to stabilize the canoe. The stern seat is mounted far to the rear and high up along the gunnels.

 Paddle Closeup




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