Rusticators canoeing in Frenchman Bay
Charles S. Reinhart
Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, Vol. 73, No. 435, August 1886, pg. 419.
Apart from the quite accurate sketching of the bark canoes, complete with etched star patterns on the ends, the artist showcases a full image of the paddle being used by the lady in the stern. Here's a closeup...
The paddle features a distinctly flattened palm grip with a clearly carved drip ring at its base. There are similar grip designs and drip rings on some other historic Maliseet paddles, most notably the c1878 York Sunbury Paddle...see posts here, here, and here.
Fredericton Region Museum (formerly York Sunbury Museum)
Size: 75" x 6"
I've carved a similar drip ring on two of my own paddles. Below is a photo of carving a replica from a few summers back. The flattened grip and ring are reminiscent of the sketch. In the end, I was disappointed with my carving efforts on this one and never completed the etchwork. It now serves as my raccoon deterrent device for when these nasty trash pandas make a mess of our balcony deck.
I had also attempted a 2nd replica (also in yellow birch) that failed when the difficult grain tore out at the blade edge out when hewing out with an axe. In the end it was salvaged into a different design. At the time I posted about it as my Yellow Birch mistake paddle.
Grip Side View; Drip ring closeup
These carved drip rings add a nice decorative design to ceremonially ornate paddles, but Reinhart's illustration indicates that such paddles were still considered functional as well.