Salesman samples?By

Salesman samples?

Store displays, salesman samples and folk art are among the favorite names under which these new boats were sold. The new pieces shown here sold for only $12.50 wholesale but have been found at outdoor markets, antique malls and shows with $100 price tags. Just look at this hand work, is the usual opening sales pitch.

Well, yes, they are handmade. Even down to the individual horizontal strips of wood which make up the hulls. There is also small brass detail work like oarlocks and cleats. Tiny oars and paddles complete the look.

These samples looked good but had a very strong new paint. Maybe the ol' schnozola is a better judge of age than the eye (just beware of splinters!). Expect some "enhancing" by artificial aging before being offered for sale.

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Fig. 1

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Fig. 2

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Fig. 3
Figs. 1-3. New boats handmade in China. From top to bottom: 16″ canoe, 12″ rowboat (tender), and close up detail of hull. Note the many individual pieces of wood. The irregular placement of pieces is typical of hand work found on vintage pieces but both boats are mass produced.