Tea Caddy

Native American (Ojibwe)


Height x diameter: 22.2 x 11.4 cm (8 3/4 x 4 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Birch bark, dyed porcupine quills

On View

Native North America Gallery (Gallery LG34)




Decorative arts

Hand written description on the bottom, “A tea canister made of birch bark ornamented with porcupine quills, by the Indians of the Red River settlement from whence it was brought by the Lord Bishop of Montreal in 1844 when he traveled upwards of 2,000 miles northwest from Montreal in an open canoe. His lordship presented it to his relative Mrs. Mountain of Cornwall by whom it was given to Miss Lucy Dalson in 1848”


1844, acquired in the Red River Settlement, Canada (present-day Manitoba) by George Mountain (b. 1789 – d. 1863), Bishop of Quebec; given by George Mountain to his relative, Mrs. Mountain, Cornwall, Canada; 1848, given by Mrs. Mountain to Miss Lucy Dalson [see note]. Acquired through Willis Henry Auctions, Marshfield, MA, by John Molloy Gallery, New York; April 19, 1994, sold by Molloy to James Frank, LaJolla, CA; consigned by Frank to John Molloy Gallery; 2013, sold by Molloy Gallery to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 26, 2013)

NOTE: Early provenance is provided on a hand-written note on the underside of the object.

Credit Line

Partial gift of James Frank and the Frank B. Bemis Fund and Hilsinger Janson Fund for Native American Art