Saturday, February 23, 2019

19th C Passamaquoddy Paddle with unique carving features

Here's another remarkable example of an Eastern Woodlands paddle with some interesting features. A current inventory item posted on Adam Ethnographic Art, it is listed as a  19th century Passamaquoddy. It measures 195 cm (76 inches), consistent with other long paddles of the Woodland Tradition, typically used standing in ocean going canoes. Below is an image and description from the source site posted with permission from the owner. 

Passamaquoddy Paddle
An interesting paddle from the Passamaquoddy people of Maine and dating to the early 19th century. This paddle has been carved later in its life by a European, I am sure while still in the U.S. It has a plate attached to the grip with the name 'JOHN H TAYLOR ESQ' embossed upon it. This also would have been added later, either the name of the new owner or more likely the name of an earlier owner, the information having being passed down with the paddle. 195 cm. 

The carving decoration is quite unique, leafy designs with a few double curve motifs is a pseudo-native style believed to be added later. Etched within the design are two apparent faces drawn with distinct features, each inverted from the other.

Blade  closeup

One of the "faces" carved into the blade

The grip features a heavily indented carving which flows down the sides, not a very common feature with many paddle handles. Also shown below is a close up of the metallic name plate embossed with capital letters belonging to a former owner.

Grip closeup showing metallic name plate attached.

Price on request by contacting Adam Prout.

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