Friday, March 1, 2019

Historic Paddle Photo: Sportman's Exhibition, New York, 1897

An earlier post mentioned the gallery page of artworks by Edwin Tappan Adney currently being  featured on through an association with the Mariner's Museum. One of the images is  Adneys sketch of a decorated Penobscot paddle etched with a family of moose on the blade and floral designs at the throat and grip face. His scribbled notes mention that the paddle was found at the Sportman's Exhibition, Maine Exhibit, New York in 1897 and was possibly made by a St. John Indian living at Old Town, ME.

It turns out an image of this very Maine Exhibit  appears on the Maine Memory Network site. Artifact 17572 features a zoomable image of the outdoor display. Tucked to the right of the image amidst all the mounted deer & moose heads, trophy fish and a stuffed owl is a full size canoe paddle.

Title: New York Sportsman's Show booth, 1897
Creation Date: 1897
Subject Date: 1897
Town: New York
State: NY
Media: Photographic print
Object Type: Image

The photo resolution is insufficient to visualize any markings so Adney's sketch provides much needed details. The whereabouts of this paddle today is not known, but Adney did in fact make a 1/5 scale model sometime between 1935-1945 which now resides in the storage collection at the Mariners Museum ( Accession Number 2000.0038.000022A )

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