Sunday, October 11, 2015

Mid to Late 19th Century Penobscot Canoe Paddles has a beautiful set of three antique Penobscot paddles for sale. Dated as "Mid to Late 19th Century", each of the three paddles feature wide beavertail style blades with graduated step style grip. The seller states that there is a strong likelihood that they were all carved by the same maker.

Here is a shot of the three paddles side by side:

Set of 3 Canoe Paddles
Region / Tribe: Maine / Penobscot.
circa mid-late 19th century.
Material: Birch (?).
Collection History: Collected in New England.
Photos Courtesy:

The seller's listing page seems to have a slight error, as the dimensions listed don't match the visual descriptions of the paddles. Specifically, they list "paddle A" as being the longest, whereas, you can see the first paddle on the left is the shortest. Anyway, I've reorganized the pics here with the corrected paddle details

The first paddle (A) is the smallest of the bunch at only 66.5". There is a small crack in the handle and a minor chip in the blade but overall the paddle looks to be in outstanding condition. A closeup of the grip reveals some fine carving. The edges are all rounded and the centre of the grip as a comfortable looking indent for the palm.

Paddle A
Length - 66 1/2”
Blade width  - 6” 

The second paddle (B) is longer at 75 inches and features a much more blunted beavertail blade with a wider, flatter tip. The grip has more slender lines with a subtle graduated taper. It is engraved with the initial "RVM" in a simple script.

Paddle B
Length - 75”
 Blade width - 6 1/4” 

The final paddle (C) is the longest of the bunch at 78 inches. The blade is quite large at 7-1/2" wide but is much more graceful than the previous paddle. A crack in the blade has undergone a basic repair. A similar indented, step grip to paddle A is carved with the same initials "EVM" in a cursive, decorative script.

Paddle C
Length - 78”
Blade Width - 7 1/2”  

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