Skip to Content

Hunting Coat


early 19th century

hide, paint, woolen broadcloth, yarn tassels
length: 40”

Inventory # CW3984



Collected by General Sir John Henry Lefroy (1817-1890), officer in the Royal Artillery of Great Britain, and a scientist specializing in terrestrial magnetism. Lefroy arrived in Toronto in 1842. In the spring of 1843 he departed on a journey from Montreal to York factory via the Hayes River, and later, in the winter of 1843-44 travelled down the Mackenzie River, taking magnetic readings along the way. This work culminated in Lefroy’s publication “In Search of the Magnetic North”. Lefroy was the director of The Toronto Magnetical Observatory until its transfer to the Canadian government in 1863, and went on to hold public office as Governor of Bermuda (c. 1871-77) and Administrator of Tasmania (c. 1880-81).       


The British Museum, London, 1982 – 1987 (Thunderbird and Lightening)

On loan to the Newfoundland Museum, St. John’s, 1990 - 2004


To Please the Caribou: Painted Caribou-Skin Coats Worn by the Naskapi, Montagnais, and Cree Hunters of the Quebec-Labrador Peninsula, Burnham, Royal Ontario Museum, 1992

Thunderbird and Lightening: Indian Life in Northeastern North America 1600-1900, King, The British Museum, London, 1982, plate 39

Donald Ellis Gallery catalogue, 2005, pgs 22 - 23


Royal Artillery Institution, Woolwich, London (UN 828)

See: Burnham, Dorothy. To Please the Caribou: Skin Coats Worn by the Naskapi, Montagnais, and Cree Hunters of the Quebec-Labrador Peninsula. Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 1992, pg. 153, pl. 14 for another Naskapi coat from the collection or General Sir John Henry Lefroy.

Canadian Museum of Civilization, No. III B 590 – See: Ibid, pg. 45, pl. 7

Museum fur Volkerkunde, Vienna, No. 145.506 - See: Uber Lebenskunst, Feest, Museum fur Volkerkunde, Vienna, 1993, pg. 57, pl. 41                                                                                       

Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, England, No. 1952.5.01 - See: Glenbow Museum. The Spirit Sings: Artistic Traditions of Canada's First Peoples, Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1987, pg. 75, pl. 64

Ewing, Douglas C. Pleasing the Spirits: A Catalogue of a Collection of American Indian Art. New York: Ghylen Press, 1982

Pg. 182, pl. 168 for a Naskapi coat sold 208 to the Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City, MO ($800,000 USD)

Sotheby’s, New York, May 18, 2010, lot 36 ($278,500 USD)

Sash W3524

Creek or Seminole
Southeastern United States

ca. 1840
Mask W3686

Northern Quebec or Labrador

19th century