LiveAuctioneers has an interesting find described as a circa 1900 Folk Decorated Canoe Paddle. The 61 inch paddle has a pretty standard shape but the blade is decorated on both sides with some etchings.
One side of the blade has the words "Travail Vainc Tout". Loosely translated it means "Work vanquishes all". The other side features a Gibson Era woman with some initials and additional artistic etchings of birds.
The decorated blades
Even the plain shaped grip has a bit of decorative flair with triangular etching on the face.
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.