Fine antique model canoes & kayaks from around the world ... vintage waterfowl decoys as well as selected outdoor collectibles ..... (completely revised and updated 7 Dec. 2013)
You are visitor #
and welcome to my website; you're one of more than 17,000 visitors in
the past couple of years. Thank you for your interest in antique
watercraft. If you have visited previously, you will find many changes, with lots of great, new high resolution photos of permanent collection items as well as of pieces which are currently available for sale. Please enjoy!
I'm the 'Bushrat'. I love canoes and kayaks, especially smaller,
older models - native-made as well as factory-issue 'salesman's
samples'. I've been studying, searching for and collecting them for
almost 25 years. The reasons I do this are more fully explained on my 'Canoe History' page.
My interest began with Native American Eastern Woodlands bark canoes such as this lovely 32" Atikamekw birch bark model pictured just above, with its exquisite, etched winter bark designs, made in 1932. It
spread to Arctic kayaks (Siberia to Greenland), dugouts from the northwest Pacific coast, then Oceanic outriggers and sailing
canoes from the South Pacific. In between, I even managed to find a few pieces from Africa and S. America. At one point, I had gathered over 150 different examples from around the world.
Shown below is a recent acquisition - an
exceedingly rare 4-hole baidarka (sealskin covered kayak), 42", from the
Norton Sound area of Alaska, dating to about 1900. It is one of a
handful currently known to exist; a smaller 3-hole kayak can be found in the Alaska State Museum.
For the past ten years, I have concentrated on gathering the finest,
most diverse collection of early North American canoe factory 'display samples' to be found. Here is a photo of a display at the Canadian Decoy & Outdoor Collectible Association annual show (2011). Many were exhibited at the Canadian Canoe Museum (2008-09), and at the Wooden Canoe Heritage Association 'Annual Assembly' (2012). They range in date from the 1870's to 1946, with most falling within the 'golden age' of recreational canoeing - 1880's to 1920's. Individual high resolution photos can be found on the 'Display Samples' page.
have written articles for'Wooden Canoe' magazine, Feb. 2011, and 'Hunting & Fishing Collectibles' magazine, Mar./Apr. and May/June
2011 issues giving much background history on 'salesman's samples'. Color photos can be
viewed on the Wooden Canoe Heritage Assoc. website: http://forums.wcha.org/showthread.php?7202-feb-2011-display-canoes-color-photos.
The WCHA is a non-profit organization devoted to "preserving, studying, building, restoring and using wooden and bark canoes". It is a wonderful, friendly group whose members share a passionate interest in all types of wooden canoes. Please consider joining us: www.wcha.org.
Over the years, I was fortunate in meeting collectors who willingly shared their experience and knowledge, as well as steering me toward helpful reference sources. I managed to gain insight and believe in passing this along. I hope to encourage you to share my collecting passions.
Part of my efforts have involved helping museums and collector clubs put on displays and do identifications. I have appraised significant donations for charitable tax receipts. In 2012, I had the wonderful experience of being a guest on two highly popular tv programs: "Pawnathon Canada" and "Canadian Pickers". Repeats of those episodes are still currently showing; I hope you will enjoy them. Below, left, 'Pickers' Scott and Sheldon discuss the purchase of kayak and canoe models from my collection. Below, right, two very rare hooded merganser decoys, c. 1900, from the Rideau Valley, Ontario, admired by the Pickers during their visit. I also collect vintage waterfowl hunting decoys and attend leading shows and auctions. You might wish to visit some great sites like: midwestdecoy.org and www.canadiandecoy.com.
Collecting decoys and canoes has brought me deep friendships. These items have had not only historical and cultural lessons to teach, but provided memorable tales of how they came into my life and the amazing characters I have met. Even my dog was responsible for bringing two of the finest pieces into my possession.
Please feel welcome to offer information which adds to my knowledge base or corrects any mistakes I may have made. I am primarily a collector and acquirer, but do occasionally 'thin down' my collection to make room and pay for something new. I am currently re-orienting my collection to emphasize early North American canoe manufacturers' display samples; thus, a number of my Oceanic models, west coast dugouts, eastern woodlands bark canoes and Arctic kayaks are seeking new homes. See my 'For Sale' page. If you find something you like, just use my Email link. My prices are fair and in keeping with the rarity and quality of the item. Your satisfaction is completely assured; return privileges and authenticity guaranteed.
photos 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; fourth, an antique regatta megaphone, early 1900's, from the Detroit Boating Club, 30" in length; bottom two photos show a selection of 'sample' paddles from early North American canoe manufacturers, both American and Canadian, and miniature native paddles from the Northwest Coast.
Content copyright . Roger Young. All rights reserved.