Thursday, February 26, 2009

Incised Maine Guide Paddle

The Maine Memory Network, a project of the Maine Historical Society, has a wonderful collection of canoe related images from this area. While searching the site, I came across a listing of a c.1890 paddle pictured below.

Canoe paddle made by Charles West, taxidermist and author of "The Aroostook Woods" (1892).

At first glance, it may not look like anything special, but the blade has some incised decorations depicating images of fishing, hunting and wildlife. The wood has darkened considerable with age so the images are hard to see. Using my meager photoshop knowledge, I adjusted the contrast & colour to better highlight the images on the blade. You can just make out a heron, running deer, and a reclining dog.

Incised paddle blade; Photoshop adjusted image

The site has a magnifier viewer if you want to get a closer peek at this bit of paddle art.

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