Currently available for the discriminating collector:
Extremely rare, antique, factory display sample (aka 'salesman's sample') made by one of the earliest US canoe manufacturers. Few of these remain. Originally, they were given to select outfitter stores and major retail outlets to be hung as advertising. Today, they are highly sought after by collectors of advertising, outdoor sporting or watercraft memorabilia as well as decorators and those seeking a unique accent piece for a den or lodge.
42" wood-canvas sample model ca. 1908, by the Carleton Canoe Co.,
of Old Town, ME. One of about 8 currently known to exist; it is likely
only a couple dozen were ever made. Carleton Canoe Co. was bought out in
1910 by Old Town Canoe Co., which then produced its own display models, slightly larger in size. This
piece has some modest repairs to one seat and its thwarts but remains in its original state as regards paint and brand name lettering. A very rare and wonderful addition to any collection. Email for additional photos and/or information.
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Hi, and welcome to my website; you're one of more than 12,000 visitors in the past couple of years. Thank you for your interest in antique watercraft.
I'm the 'Bushrat'. I love canoes and kayaks, especially older, smaller models - both native-made and factory-issue 'salesman's samples'. I've been studying and collecting them for almost 25 years. In these pages I will share with you what I have learned, post photos of items I have seen or collected and, possibly, help you find something for your own collection. Please feel free to ask questions using the email link above.
I don't claim to know everything, nor to be an 'expert'. I'm a student on a learning voyage. Over the years, I was fortunate to meet others who shared their experience and knowledge, as well as steering me me toward helpful reference sources. In the process, I managed to gain some insight and believe in passing this along. I hope to encourage others to join in and share my collecting passions. Part of my efforts have involved helping museums and collector clubs put on displays and do identifications.
Last year, I had the wonderful experience of being a guest on two highly popular tv programs: "Pawnathon Canada" and "Canadian Pickers". Those episodes are currently showing, and I hope you will enjoy them.
Here is a recent acquisition (July 2012): an exceedingly rare 4-hole baidarka, 42", from the Norton Sound area of Alaska, dating to about 1900. It is one of a handful currently known to exist; a small 3-hole kayak from the same area, dating to the late 1800's can be found in the Alaska State Museum. Full-size multi-hatch examples from this area are almost unknown; that style is usually only seen amongst the Aleut and the Pacific Eskimo, and has a very different, bifurcated bow.
Even more than the many wonderful things I have come to enjoy and care for, I have gained insight and very deep friendships. Each canoe and kayak has had not only history and a cultural lesson to teach, but also a memorable tale of how it came into my life. Even my dog has been responsible for bringing two of the finest pieces I have ever handled into my possession.
I sincerely hope you will find something of interest here. Always happy to make new friends and chat a while. Please feel welcome to offer information which adds to my knowledge base or corrects any mistakes I may have made. While I am primarily a collector and acquirer, I do occasionally 'thin down' my collection to make room or to pay for something new. I am currently in the process of re-orienting my collection to emphasize early North American canoe manufacturers' display samples. A number of Oceanic models, west coast dugouts, eastern woodlands bark canoes and Arctic kayaks are presently for sale. If you see something you like, please ask. My prices are fair, and in keeping with the rarity and quality of the object. Your satisfaction is assured with return privileges; I stand behind what I sell and guarantee authenticity.
above photo: rare 6' Rice Lake Canoe Co. board and batten 'salesman's sample' or display model, c. 1900, from Gore's Landing, ON, ; matching paddles are c. 1920. along left side: top, two 'lokatoi' - coastal trade sailing canoe models, Papua/New Guinea, c. 1970; next, a Rice Lake Canoe Co. decal c. 1920; third, a quartet of canoe cups, c. 1930/40; bottom, an antique regatta megaphone, early 1900's, from the Detroit Boating Club, 30" in length.
PS: For those interested in
reading more about early North American canoe factory 'display samples' (often referred to
as 'salesman's samples') of both small canoes and miniature paddles, I
have written articles for 'Wooden Canoe' magazine, Feb. 2011, and
'Hunting & Fishing Collectibles' magazine, Mar./Apr. and May/June
2011 issues. Color photos of these items can also be
viewed at: http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?7202-feb-2011-display-canoes-color-photos.
This is the website of the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association, of which I
am a member. Below, a photo of a display at the Canadian Decoy & Outdoor Collectibles Assoc. annual show, Oct. 2011, in Niagara Falls, ON. A similar display, with an even greater number of antique models supplied by fellow-members of the WCHA, was seen at the 2012 "Annual Assembly", held at Paul Smiths College, NY, in June, 2012. A truly wonderful exhibit.
Content copyright . Roger Young. All rights reserved.