Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Jasper Grant Paddle

Found some more info on a historic paddle in the Toronto Reference Library Archives. This one is a full sized souvenir paddle which eventually ended up in the National Museum of Ireland. It was made for Colonel Jasper Grant, an Anglo-Irish Officer stationed in the Eastern Great Lakes region between 1804 - 1809.

Col. J Grant's Paddle

The grip on the paddle is a shortened, flattened style grip which includes an etched wreath decoration surrounding his initials.

Flattened Grip with Initials

Both sides of the blade a decorated with depictions of native scenes including dancing men with tomahawks, a solitary man with a tripod and cooking pot, and some figures paddling a canoe. One freight canoe has what looks like an HBC flag at the stern, you can just make out the cross marks of the Union Jack.

Blade Decorations

While the paddle was clearly decorated to a souvenir piece, its narrow blade shape and flattened grip seems to be consistent a few surviving museum paddles from the same region, like the Iroquois paddles at the Royal Ontario Museum

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