Picked up a Charles River Torpedo and this was on the front on both sides. Is it a P, a Chinese or Japanese character, a canoe club emblem, Indian design, builders reference, or just a shop artists rendering?
certainly looks like the letter "P", done in Old English script, otherwise known as Gothic style ,or calligraphy. Probably represents the first letter of the owner's surname; could also be for a club or lodge. Doesn't seem to me to be Oriental at all, nor Native American, or any of your other thoughts.
Its a "P". These kinds of embellishments are common on Charles River-area canoes. See below for a photo of another such canoe that has "B-B" hidden under a layer of red paint. Many CR-area canoes were adorned with names, and Old English was a common method of lettering. Other canoes have more block-like lettering (similar to Ariel or Helvetica; our "DOT"'s original canvas has such lettering, but I can't easily get a photo right now), and then there are still other styles (second photo below) that seem to be less well represented. In addition to the cursive "Bonita", this canoe also has an Old English "B" on the other end... at least I think it's a "B"... see last photo.
There were some nice designs on canoes at the assembly this year. Look through the assembly photos... and I'll post pictures of a couple I received from the Capenos contingency... on an Indian Girl, and on one of Dave DeVivo's courting canoes, I believe.
Many courting canoes have at least a two-tone paint job, with one color following the gunwales and sweeping around the recurve at the stems... then maybe a pinstripe or gold leaf separating the two colors-- doing a little dance in the corner. You could add your own Gothic initial!
Hey Kathryn, It does look like the same boat except maybe he has 4 ft decks. Mine are 3 ft. Shown on the trailer it looks like the stem profile is the same, same thwarts, lettering very similar. I wonder who he attributes as the builder.
Hi Robert, I do. I'm going to work on it so half is stripped. My front coaming was to damaged to determine if a tag was there. It really looks like your make. Let me look at your other pics this evening.