Friday, November 12, 2010

Expensive Canoe Poling Art

An expired (2007) listing on the site lists an original painting by Philip Russell Goodwin (1881-1935) showing two hearty men poling a birchbark canoe. It eventually sold for $30 000!

Framed Piece; Closeup
Lot # 0130
Estimates: $15000 - $25000
Start Price: $10000
Description GOODWIN, Phillip Russell, (American, 1881-1935): Illustration, possibly for a Remington ad, depicting two men poling a canoe down river rapids, Oil/C, 30" x 20", signed and dated 1909, bears partial label verse "and Meelsins went up the Montreal and staked the mine", original frame 35 1/2" x 25 1/2". Small portion of inpaint with tiny patch visible verso, mid-upper right quadrant has minor fleck, pinpoint puncture in man's pant leg, needs cleaning.
Hammer Price $30000


P A D D E L B L O G said...

Hello Murat,

it's obvious to see that these men practice poling upriver. "poling a canoe down river rapids" in the description must have been written by someone who is completely ignorant of poling.

Greetings from Germany

Bob Holtzman said...

1. It seems odd for an oil painting of this vintage to be done in black-and-white. I wonder if this was commonly done when the work was intended for use in an advertisement that might only be published in B&W.
2. The auction house describes the canoe as being poled *down* the rapids, which is almost certainly wrong, especially in light of label verse that states that the men are going *up* the Montreal.
Nonetheless, it's a vigorous, manly scene.

Murat said...

Of course you two observant readers are correct...the painting shows them poling up the rapids rather than down. Maybe the buyer should ask for a refund given the inaccurate description :)

Anonymous said...

Hey Axel... don't you pole down rapids? If it is shallow, or you want to control your speed where you have no handy eddies, then the pole is the way. Only upstream poling for the floating toolbox?

Murat said...

Sure, if the river is shallow then poling (snubbing) helps you descend rapids...but Axel is quite right about the painting. Just look at the angle of the poles behind the men. They are clearly pushing against the current not snubbing downsteam.

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