Photo Credit: catlennox
The full citation at the new Artefacts Canada mentions that the paddle is dated to at least 1878, made from maple, and is ornately carved with a stylized fiddlehead design.
Last summer, I blogged about my attempt to use photoshop on images of this antique paddle to enhance the beautiful etched patterns. After adjusting some of the colour levels, adding a spotlight effect, and using the unsharpen mask feature, I was able to adjust catlennox's image too to bring out some more contrast.
Still it's no substitute for checking out this paddle in person. While I've still got other paddle designs on the go, I think my future direction will be replicating these historic museum paddles as authentically as possible. Better get started on chip-carving practice!