Sunday, November 5, 2023

Circa 1860 "Pleasing the Spirits" paddle up for auction (again)

Bonham's  Auctions is featuring a circa 1860 paddle in their upcoming NATIVE AMERICAN & TRIBAL ART auction, set for 8 November 2023. LOT 84 features "A Northeastern Woodlands canoe paddle" which might be familiar to readers of this blog.

A Northeastern Woodlands canoe paddle
Malecite(?), c. 1860s
63 3/4 in.
Provenance: Private collection, New York. 
Collected in the St. John's River area of New Brunswick, Canada.

The uniquely carved stepped grip of this paddle features some floral incised decorative elements.

This paddle was originally illustrated in an exhibition catalog from 1982, Pleasing the Spirits. A Catalogue of a collection of American Indian Art by Douglas C. Ewing, Page 385, plate 474. It was up for auction back in 2009 where it fetched a realized price $2500 after being valued at $700. It seems to have been up for auction again in 2017. I made a replica from maple back in 2020 and it has become one of my favourites for relaxed solo paddling. Hopefully this treasure will go to a good home where it will be valued for the historic piece that it is.

Nov 10 2023 Update: Paddle sold for $3200 US (including buyer's premium)

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