Thursday, November 3, 2011

c1900 Authentic Maliseet Paddle (for Sale)

Recently I've been getting some emails inquiring whether my paddles are for sale. The short answer is no. A few have been sold off, given away as gifts, or donated for charity auctions and the rest I use regularly when paddling. This whole thing is a hobby for me (fun!) and not a business (work!).

BUT for those who want a chance to own an authentic, antique Maliseet paddle, you might consider contacting Rose McNeilly of Hampton, New Brunswick who is selling a circa 1900 authentic Maliseet paddle. Rose sent me some pics of the paddle as well as some history...

Circa 1900 Maliseet Paddle

Diamond shaped secondary grip

The paddle was orginally acquired 30 years ago at a farm auction on Washademoak Lake, off the Saint John River. It has no etching decorations on it and was therefore likely meant to be utilitarian my mind, this makes it even more valuable since it was carved to be used and not just meant for the tourist trade. It features a short, diamond shaped secondary grip that isn't too common in northeastern native paddle design, but one that I could see would have a functional value.

Here are some technical details about the dimensions:
Length : 60 ¼ inches
Width of blade : 5 ¾ inches
Blade Length : 24 inches
Grip Width : 1 and 7/8 inches
Grip Length: 4 ½ inches
Shaft Thickness: 1 ¼ inches

The paddle was appraised in 2007 by Donald Ellis, one of Canada's renowned experts on native art. It has also been identified at a Maliseet paddle by the Curator of Cultural History and Art at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John. At one time someone painted it white, then green. But the experts stated that this by no means diminishes its value. In fact, the painting is what likely preserved this 110 year old piece which otherwise would've disintegrated with time.

Many thanks to Rose for letting me post these pics of this historic piece. You can contact her directly if you have more questions.


Jonas Sjöblom said...

Do you happen to know what it is painted with? I don't know when they started using linseed oil, maybe around this time? Or maybe some other oil? Or tar and pigments? As this one looks very dark I guess it could be.
At least a very interesting paddle, both the grip shape and the color.

Murat said...

Not sure what this one is painted with. However, by 1900 the Maliseet in eastern Canada had full access to regular oil based lead paint and marine paints used by boats in this fishing region. It is very likely that the original white colour and later dark green colour were from these sources.

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