|Description: The jacket is made of black silk damask, with a design of leaves and seeds woven into the fabric. The cut is an oriental style with the body and part of the sleeves cut from one piece of fabric, while the lower sleeve is attached to the main piece. The jacket and sleeves are all edged with coral coloured silk binding including the side-seam slits. The binding follows the contour of the neckline which has a mandarin collar. The front and back of the jacket has ornate appliquéd embroidery that depicts stems, flowers, and birds such as the phoenix. The jacket fastens using silk loops and knots. Two of the fasteners are composed of appliquéd pink hearts to hold the loops and knots. The lining is a pale turquoise soft-woven silk. The edge of the sleeves also have embroidery. Most of the jacket seems to be hand sewn.
Barbara recalled that the jacket was used for plays and dressing up. It could have been brought back from Asia by Percy Sutherland, a cousin of Mary Harris. Percy Sutherland was the youngest son of John Newton Sutherland. He owned an exporting business and often sent gifts to the Harris family. Percy was a collector of Chinese Art and donated his collection to the McGill University Gallery.
Items donated by Barbara Sayers Larson. Barbara Larson is the daughter of Annie Harris (1882-1986) and Beverly Sayers (1882-1976) and granddaughter of Arthur (1843-1932) and Mary (1859-1954) Harris. Barbara was born January 27, 1920 and was the youngest of three children. Barbara and her siblings, Geoffrey Sayers (1907-1997) and Dora Sayers Caro (1915-2004) donated Benares to the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 1969 after inheriting it from their aunt, Naomi Harris (1883-1968). Many of the items donated by Barbara originally belonged to her mother or Aunt Naomi and came from Benares. Barbara lived in a log cabin originally given to her by her grandparents at 1723 Birchwood Drive. She still maintains a close tie with Benares and is now living in Kelowna, British Columbia, with her daughter.