The Canada Auction Series: Canadian Arts, Culture & History

Auction begins to close:
December 02, 2022 at 2:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 95

Lot 95

Algonquian Birch Bark Canoe, Avon Bay, Lake Joseph in the Muskokas, Ontario, c.1900

Algonquian Birch Bark Canoe, Avon Bay, Lake Joseph in the Muskokas, Ontario, c.1900
Lot 95 Details
Algonquian Birch Bark Canoe, Avon Bay, Lake Joseph in the Muskokas, Ontario, c.1900

175 x 26 x 18 in — 444.5 x 66 x 45.7 cm

Estimate $500-$700

Realised: $2,400
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report


This lot is available for preview and pickup offsite at Murray's Auctioneers in Ajax, Ontario. Please contact Matthew Vail (416-886-4167 or [email protected]) for preview and pick up information.


The people of the Eastern Woodlands like the Innu (Montagnais-Naskapi), Ojibwe, Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) and Algonquin had been building and utilizing birchbark canoes for hundreds of years before the arrival of Europeans. The thousands of lakes and waterways of Ontario made the canoe an ideal form of transportation for voyageurs, who used them to explore and trade in the interior of the country, and to connect fur trade supply lines with central posts, notably Montreal.

Samuel de Champlain said that the canoe was “the only craft suitable” for navigation in Canada. Others claimed that European boats were “clumsy” and “utterly useless;” by comparison. Its use was adopted almost without exception. European explorers navigating inland Canada for the first time did so exclusively in birchbark canoes.

The NFB's Paddle to the Sea


Do not attempt to Paddle to the Sea in this one!

LOT 95

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.