Marius Barbeau A glimpse of Canadian Culture (1883-1969)
Introduction Objects Photos & Papers Themes Barbeau's Story Kids & Teachers


A wooden folding bed with collapsible trestle legs. The mattress support, made of canvass, is nailed to the sides of the bed. (French Canadian)

Candle box made of stained wood with dovetail corners, a sliding lid and a finger hold. (French Canadian)

Candle mould with a pine stand which could hold twelve candles. (French Canadian)

An unusual medicine cabinet, made of wood, and decorated with carved moldings. There is an arched door with an inserted mirror. The top and bottom of the cabinet has carved hearts, which are painted gold and red, with a mirror in the centre. Each side of the door is decorated with gothic style church windows painted white.

Other motifs on the cabinet include two black and white dogs, two white horses with female mounts in blue medieval costumes, two green maple leaves, two moose, a beaver, and a fish. The round hole at bottom served as towel rack. The date 1948 appears at the top of the cabinet. (French Canadian)

Hooked rug, made of nylon with a burlap strip on the bottom edges. In the centre is the pattern of a pink house of with green doors on a brown background. There are four colored crosses in each corner of the rug. (French Canadian)

Key, © CMC/MCC, 77-1283.2

Key Enlarge image

Hand forged key made of iron. (French Canadian)

Small wooden jewelry box in the shape of a French Canadian style house. A steeped roof forms the lid. (French Canadian)

Hooked rug with a yellow background with four stylized whales in beige, black or orange. Barbeau notes that this rug was made in 1918, out of army blankets. The whales are in a pattern which the maker interpreted from the Indian crests of the Tsimsyan and Haida. It was designed and hooked by Emily Carr. At one time she made a living by keeping a boarding house, making ceramic items, and hooking rugs, as well as painting. (Canadian)

Catalogne mat, or rag rug, made from narrow, coloured cloth strips. This is typical of the many small catalogne mats mad during the 1920's and 1930's with the revival of weaving as a home craft in Québec. (French Canadian)

Rustic longhorn armchair made of wood and cow horns. (French Canadian)

Coffee table made of varnished or lacquered wood and horns. (French Canadian)

Wooden wardrobe in red, white, black, with two hinged doors, a sliding bolt, and a round white porcelain knob. (French Canadian)

In the province of Québec, the existence of established schools of sculpture, woodworking and architecture helped to maintain traditional forms of furniture well into the nineteenth century. The impressive armoire illustrated to the right of the Kleiderschrank was found at Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Conseil, Drummond County. It was inspired by French Provincial interpretations of the Louis XIII style. The armoire's prominent cornice, heavy mouldings, and door panels carved in high relief with the popular diamond-point motif are characteristic features of furniture made in Quebec during the eighteenth century.

Unfortunately, much of the earlier furniture made in Canada has been stripped of its original finish, but all three of these cupboards are in their original condition. (Unknown)

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