M973.55.2 | Chair

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Anonyme - Anonymous
Eastern Woodlands
Aboriginal: Mi'kmaq
1865-1900, 19th century
Maple (bird's-eye), birchbark, porcupine quills, dyes
16.6 x 8.7 cm
Gift of Mrs. J. Evan Church
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Chair (31)
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Keys to History

Tiny and Perfect

The Mi'kmaq often travelled great distances to carry on their commerce. Mi'kmaq objects were sold at large vacation resorts and in American and Canadian cities along the east coast, and were even carried back to European cities by returning tourists.

For convenience, Mi'kmaq objects had to be easy to transport for tourists sought things that would fit into their trunks and suitcases. Pincushions, containers, baskets and mocassins were easily packed, with the result that numerous examples of such items are now found in both private and museum collections in Europe and elsewhere.

Mi'kmaq artists also produced miniature reproductions of the larger items to demonstrate their abilities. For example, this tiny chair destined for a doll house was made using the same techniques as those employed in crafting full-size chairs or tables.

  • What

    The seat of this chair is a panel decorated with porcupine quills. The frame is made of bird's-eye maple.

  • Where

    This chair comes from New Brunswick.

  • When

    This doll's chair was made between 1875 and 1900.

  • Who

    Like the panels for full-size chairs, this one was probably made by a Mi'kmaq woman. The frame of the chair may have been made by a Mi'kmaq artisan or by a Euro-Canadian furniture maker.