While searching through Artefacts Canada's site, I came across a fascinating paddle, apparently located at the Fredericton Region Museum (formerly York Sunbury Museum) in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It's been dated to at least 1878, made from maple, and is ornately carved with a stylized fiddlehead design. The description mentions that it was presented to Col. John Saunders (1792-1878), who served as High Sheriff of York County for many years and befriended many local Maliseet. The grip is incised with the builder dupskodegun (pictorial signature or private mark) and is made of curved motifs with a stylized depiction of fiddleheads, apparently a very common design of the time. Below are some closeups of the blade and grip area. For the full Artefacts Canada citation, click here.
The decorated blade & grip
The whole paddle
UPDATE - See more detailed pics of this paddle HERE
I'm an avid canoeist and general "outdoorsy type" guy with a bit of an artistic side. Recently started this hobby of making custom canoe paddles after my disappointing experience with most commercial brands. This site documents various styles of single blade canoe paddles I've made or researched as well as other canoe related info I've stumbled across on my internet wanderings. Hope you enjoy your visit.