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Box
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Title: Box
Identifier: 979.6.709
Donor: Geoffrey Sayers
Item Date: 1880-1920
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: An intricately carved brown wooden box with the letters "MH" in the center of the lid design. The design is made of overlapping circles in a rounded cross shape with one large circle at the bottom. At the corners are four triangles pointing outwards. The bottom of the box is made of two pieces that have been roughly nailed together; possibly to repair a split or break. The sides also have a circular repeating pattern in bands of three.

Mary Horatia Magrath Harris (1859-1954) was the granddaughter of Reverend James Magrath (1769 1851), who was the first rector of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Erindale. Her parents, Christiana (née Sutherland) and William Melchior Magrath, married in 1856. Christiana died after the birth of her third daughter, Isabel, in 1860. Mary and her two sisters were raised by their aunt, Anna Cordelia Magrath, at Erindale Estate. Both the Magraths and Harrises were members of the St. Peter’s Anglican Church and the families knew each other well. It was at church that Mary and Arthur Harris first met and later married in 1881. Mary and Arthur had three children, Annie (1882 1986), Naomi (1883 1968) and Margaret (1887). Oral tradition suggests that Mary never fully recovered from the sad loss of her third child and she suffered hearing impairment soon after. Mary was a very generous woman and held in high esteem by all who knew her. She enjoyed polishing silver, crocheting, and gardening. Mary died at the age of 94, January 20th, 1956.
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