ACC6101 | Tea cosy

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Tea cosy
Anonyme - Anonymous
Eastern Woodlands
Aboriginal: Mi'kmaq
1870-1890, 19th century
Wool cloth, cotton thread, silk ribbon, glass beads, horsehair
33.5 x 46 cm
Gift of Mrs. Smallwood
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Tea cosy (1)
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Keys to History

This tea cosy is a good example of the many ways in which the Mi'kmaq expressed the richness of their culture. This is an object made by a Mi'kmaq woman specifically for the Euro-Canadian market, and it would have been found in a home in Montreal, Halifax or even in Maine. Although it uses materials obtained through contact with Europeans, it is definitely a Mi'kmaq creation. The artist who decorated this tea cosy did so according to her taste and aesthetic preferences, using the double-curve motif and beading techniques long associated with Aboriginal peoples.

  • What

    This is a woolen tea cosy, decorated with glass beads in a double-curve motif.

  • Where

    It is not known where this object was created, although it is of Mi'kmaq origin.

  • When

    This tea cosy was probably made between 1875 and 1900. Tea cosies were introduced as commonplace objects around the mid-19th century.

  • Who

    In the 19th century, Euro-Canadian collectors did not always recognize the interest of recording the names of the artists who made objects that they acquired. Unfortunately, David Ross McCord, who purchased this tea cosy, was no exception.