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Hide coat painted in red, green, blue and yellow with various motifs and yarn tassels | Donald Ellis Gallery

Hunting Coat


early 19th century

hide, paint, woolen broadcloth, yarn tassels

height: 40"

Inventory # CW3984


acquired by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON


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