Monday, July 19, 2010

c.1839 Fur Trade Paddle

This post from Oct '09 highlighted an antique paddle in the collection of the Minnesota Historical Society. Here's the image and description below...

Wood paddle has a long slim tapering blade. The flat grip has a concave indention at its base and elaborate carving on its remainder. Carved design includes a curved cross, a shield with a diamond and scroll band, and diamond shapes filled with cross-hatching. There are also the carved initials "W. D.", which may not be original. Donor states that the paddle was found near Stillwater, Minn., following a battle between the Ojibwa and Dakota, ca. 1839. Paddle is purported to have belonged to a voyageur.

I was able to find another grainy shot of the same paddle and tried to improve the image as best I could. This one (with increased contrast) clearly shows the decorative etchings on the grip including the initials "W.D" squeezed into the middle section. Nice bit of decorative folk art and yet another design I'd like to replicate...

Paddle; Grip Closeup

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