Tuesday, February 21, 2017

1860s Woodland paddle update

Here's an update regarding a beautiful antique paddle dated to circa 1860...

circa 1860
74 x 6 1/2 in.
Estimate : $500 - $700
Realized : $1,600
Traces of red and grey paint.
Engraved and stained decoration of top of grip

Originally listed as sold on the Stair Auctioneers and Appraisers auction site (May 23, 2009 Past Auction catalogue), the paddle appears to have been resold though Antique Associates at West Townsend, Inc. Scrolling down the AAAWT's Native American Folk Art page the identical paddle, previously listed as "Woodlands Canoe (Ottawa?)", has now been identified as "Probably Maine, Likely Penobscot".

Woodlands Indian Canoe Paddle
Length 74-1/4"
Probably Maine, Likely Penobscot, Circa 1860
Chip, notch and scratch carved decoration, ridged; birch, thinning red stain - SOLD

This paddle has been also been featured in a dated exhibition catalog. Pleasing the spirits : a catalogue of a collection of American Indian art  by Ewing, Douglas C (1982) described this paddle on page 384, plate 473. Both the exhibition catalog and the previous Stair listing showcase a delicate etchings on one side of the grip face - a triangular etchings with a linear motif culminating in a round pattern encircling a diamond motif. Tiny round notches occur along the sides of the grip at approximately the half way point where the grip scallops down to the shaft.

The new listing has closeups of the grip but only showcase the upper portion...

Fortunately, the listing also includes the decoration on the other side, previously undocumented to the best of my knowledge. This pattern features some scrolls at the top with chip carved notches carved in a border pattern.

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