Posts written by Kirstie Ross

A Princess’s present for Chrismas

Princess Mary's gift box 1914

The war that erupted in Europe in August 1914 was supposed to over by Christmas that year. This confident view did not stop Princess Mary, the only daughter of King George V (he appears on the poster below) and Queen Mary, from initiating a scheme to distribute Christmas gifts to the British forces fighting far from… Read more »

Christmas cake cuties

santa cake decoration

Not everyone loves traditional Christmas cake, but what’s not to love about these cute Christmas cake decorations? These miniature Santas are part of a collection of cake decorations associated with the Wellington bakery and coffee house Konditorei Aida. They would be more at home on a white iced, firm rich fruit cake, rather than on… Read more »

No Mo December

Old Spice set

Put those moustache cups away for another year, and splash on some bracing aftershave. Here are some shaving related items in Te Papa’s collections to inspire you Movember-ites to lather up and remove the moustaches you have tended over the last month. What about this shaving mug for the politically-minded moustache-remover, below. It features an illustration of the… Read more »

Inspiring disabled designs

GH021216 Wallpaper sample

Pokerwork, or ‘pyrography’ if you want to be fancy, was one of the craft activities encouraged by doctors who supervised the recuperation of soldiers wounded during World War One. Generally, medical experts recognised the benefits of gentle, repetitive actions for damaged muscles. Squeezing the bulb of a pokerwork machine – that created the heat required… Read more »

Farewell Berry Boys, George, Roy, Frank, and Alfred

Berry Boys exhibition on level 4 April-October 2014

Four of Te Papa’s ‘Berry Boys’ were amongst the 8500 men who left with the Main Body of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on 16 October 1914. These men, in their fresh uniforms, were draper George Hornig (above, in a photo taken in 1912), cabinetmaker Roy Houchen, and Frank Barber, from Wellington, plus Alfred Gower, a… Read more »

William Gemmell: WWI amputee postively identified

Te Papa holds 28 sepia-toned photographs taken of New Zealand servicemen who were wounded during World War I. None of the men in these photographs are identified. However, thanks to Julie Gemmell of Waikouaiti, we now know that one of the men in two of these photos is William Clement Gemmell, Julie’s grandfather. In the photograph above,… Read more »

WWI relics: Authors’ favourites from Holding on to Home revealed

What is a relic of World War I? Is it a lemon squeezer hat, a fundraising tapestry, a knitting pattern or an Egyptian cigarette souvenired by a soldier? This is a question at the heart of Holding on to Home which Te Papa Press launched last Thursday. With more than 300 images, this new book broadens… Read more »

Choose your favourite World War I objects from Te Papa Press’s new book Holding on to Home

Holding_on_to_Home_cover_ low-res

One designer, two authors, nine chapters, 28 library, archive and museum collections, and more than 300 illustrations: these are some of the ingredients that have gone into Holding on to Home: New Zealand Stories and Objects for the First World War which was launched by Te Papa Press last night. When the First World War began,… Read more »

Berry Cover Boys

 Gerald Gower (left) and Alfred Featherston Gower (right) are the two brothers who grace rather strikingly the cover of Berry Boys: Portraits of First World War Soldiers and Families by Michael Fitzgerald and Claire Regnault. The studio paraphernalia you see in the image above would have been cropped out in prints made from the original… Read more »