Friday, May 18, 2018

Historic Paddle Illustrations - More Verner

Here are two more images of decorated paddles from prolific artist Frederick A. Verner (1838 - 1926).

Frederick A Verner
Indians in a Canoe


Frederick A Verner
Ojibwa Crossing Lake Nipissing with Cargo of Furs



Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Circa 1860 "Delaware" Paddle Replica

Another replica chosen for its unique shape and decoration is based on the circa 1860 paddles briefly discussed in previous posts. Described originally as “A Pair of Painted Wood Oars, Probably Lorette-Huron.”, they first appeared in an auction catalog from 1998.


“A Pair of Painted Wood Oars, Probably Lorette-Huron.”
Important American Indian Art
Sotheby’s New York
May 19,1998, lot 726
Original Post Link


Later, they were being sold again and were further listed as maple paddles circa 1860s attributed to the Delaware (Lenape) tribe.

circa 1860 "Delaware" paddles


I finished carving out the design (based on the larger stern paddle) out of some basswood stock last fall. The poor quality color photo of the paddles illustrated a a rather simple decorative element with a dark, blackish tone next to a faded brown-red paint. An alternating series of dots rise up from the midpoint of the blade up to the thwart. I was just about to start painting when I came across on an advertisement in a back issue of American Indian Art Magazine (original post link). The blade on the left was a closeup of the shorter bow paddle easily identified with the drip marks on the black dots.

Ad from American Indian Art Magazine
Spring 2015, Volume 40, Issue 2


This better resolution image revealed that the maple wood had aged to brownish patina and that the reddish paint was a semi-transparent coat revealing some of the underlying grain pattern.

Given that basswood is a very light cream colour, a decision was made to stain the paddle using some of Minwax Gel Antique Stain. I also had some Tremclad Red paint left over from refurbishing the 14' Chestnut canoe so used this for the red decoration. Despite directions on the label not to thin the paint, I used a substantial amount of thinner to achieve the desired semi-transparent look. Instead of drilling the three holes in the handle, I simply burned three dots to mimic the effect. Here is the final result:


ca 1860 paddle replica


Similar to this earlier post of the Naskapi (Innu) paddle, I converted my image to greyscale graphic in order to compare with the original.



circa 1860 "Delaware" paddle and my reproduction 




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