Friday, December 7, 2018

1794 Mi'kmaq Rennes de Robien Canoe Model

First posted back in 2017 (here), the Museum of Fine Arts of Rennes has a model birchbark canoe with an accompanying paddle dating to at least 1794. The souvenir is constructed in the Mi'kmaq style with its distinctive hump amidships. It was assumed to be collected by Christophe-Paul de Robien (1698-1756), a French ethnographer and historian. After the French Revolution, his personal collection inherited by his descendants was seized by the state and distributed to what became the Museum of Fine Arts of Rennes. During the inventory process, it was inscribed with a date of 1794 although the original construction date is likely older.

Modèle de canot avec rame
Inv 794.1.782
Museum of Fine Arts     RENNES

Accompanying the canoe is a single paddle with a pole grip and a decorated blade. Although faded, it appears that half the blade was painted with a red pigment creating a simple "yin/yang" effect. The canoe and paddle as well as other curiosities collected by Robien are now on display in a special gallery at the museum. One particular visitor has captured the model and paddle in the following photo:

Additional posts on this model are found here and here

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