Canterbury Museum

Recent Acquisitions

  • Lane Walker Rudkin Collection

    Lane Walker Rudkin Collection


    Lane Walker Rudkin was established in 1904, bringing together three earlier Canterbury family businesses. Making everything from underwear to outwear, and with popular brands like Canterbury, Swandri and Jockey under their umbrella, LWR made an appearance in most Kiwi closets. 

    After more than 100 years in business, the company ceased trading in November 2009. Still in receivership when the February 2011 earthquake hit, the head office suffered severe damage and was marked for demolition. The receivers were given just two hours to retrieve material before the demolition started.

    A collection of photographs, booklets and ephemera came to the Museum shortly afterwards. The earliest objects date from 1905, but the bulk of the material dates between the 1930s and the 1980s.

  • Mackinlay’s Whisky

    Mackinlay’s Whisky


    During 2010 and 2011 Canterbury Museum worked with the Antarctic Heritage Trust to conserve a crate of Mackinlay’s whisky which had been discovered underneath Shackleton’s 1907 - 1909 Nimrod expedition hut at Cape Royds, Antarctica.  With permission of the Antarctic Treaty nations, samples of the whisky were taken and sent to the Scottish Whisky Research Institute where, in conjunction with Whyte & Mackay (who now own the Mackinlay’s brand), the whisky was replicated.  Mackinlay’s Rare Old Highland Malt whisky was created.

    Each bottle of the replica comes in a wooden box along with an information booklet telling its story.  This bottle, which will never be drunk, helps to tell the story of the preservation (and associated fund raising) of Shackleton’s Cape Royds Hut. 

  • Vase by Len Castle

    Vase by Len Castle


    Stoneware vase made using scoria from Rangitoto mixed with earthenware clay. Elongated diamond shape with impressed semi glazed grooved upper portion and glazed (and sealed) interior. This vase was made by Len Castle (1924 - 2011) who is considered one of New Zealand's premier potters. Len Castle was recognised for his services to and influence on pottery. Awards included a CBE for Services to Pottery in 1986 and a New Zealand Commemorative Medal in 1990. He was one of the ten inaugural Arts Foundation Icons honoured in 2003, and in 2004 he was presented with both a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Auckland and a D.C.N.Z.M (Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit) for Services to Pottery.

  • Kia Kaha memorial guitar

    Kia Kaha memorial guitar


    On the 22 February 2011, Christchurch was hit with a 6.3 earthquake which caused massive damage. During the quake and the days immediately afterwards, 185 people lost their lives and hundreds more were injured. These people came not only from New Zealand but from countries around the world. The lives of their families, friends and communities were irreversibly altered that day.

    This memorial guitar was made by Bruce and Jason Pickering incorporating timber from some of Canterbury’s heritage buildings which were damaged or destroyed in the September 2010 and February 2011 earthquakes. The guitar has been painted white to represent both the souls of those who perished and a blank canvas on which survivors can imagine a new beginning for Christchurch. 

  • The Tuis

    The Tuis


    This carved wooden sculpture was made in 1993 by Graham Pizzey and is 1.5 metres tall. The two coloured carved wooden Tui's perch easily on boughs made from a stripped and polished natural tree branch. Graham Pizzey is a highly-regarded New Zealand wood carver and sculptor who has exhibited his work multiple times over the last 35 years.  He began in Christchurch and operated a gallery near Bealey Avenue before moving to the Nelson area, where he opened the Sherwood Gallery in Motueka in 1987. Carvings of New Zealand native birds are a particular speciality of Graham’s work.

  • Model of pony pulling a sledge in Antarctica

    Model of pony pulling a sledge in Antarctica


    One of transportation methods used during the British Antarctic Expedition 1910 - 1913 was ponies. These were used to pull sledges loaded with food and supplies to support the expedition’s goal to reach the South Pole. This model of the pony pulling a loaded sledge was made by Edward A (Mac) McKenzie. McKenzie was a leading stoker on the expedition ship Terra Nova.  He was a teenager when on the expedition as he had lied about his age to enter the Navy. This model was completed by McKenzie in the 1930s, most likely as part of the celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the expedition and is made primarily from wood, fabric and ceramic. McKenzie was known for his model making skills and some of his Antarctic models were also used as miniature replicas for the original special effect action shots in the now classic film Scott of the Antarctic.

  • Milky the Marvellous Milking Cow

    Milky the Marvellous Milking Cow


    This interactive toy was made in 1977 and patented in the United States.

    To play with it, a “milk” tablet is put into the cow. The cow drinks water when her tail is pumped up and down and once full of water the cow moos and can be milked into the bucket underneath her.

    When milking is complete the cow will moo again. The cow toy was accompanied by a booklet telling the story of how milk comes from a cow and ends up on your dining table, and encouraging children to drink milk.

  • Patrick Keohane’s Antarctic sledging flag

    Patrick Keohane’s Antarctic sledging flag


    Irishman Patrick Keohane was selected by Lieutenant Evans for the Terra Nova expedition and was 30 years old when he went to Antarctica. He worked a lot on sewing duties at Cape Evans and also made models of the expedition’s equipment and activities as a leisure activity.

    Keohane helped lay supply depots and supported the team attempting to reach the South Pole. He was part of the Northern Relief party and also in the team to search for the South Pole party, helping take charge of the mules.

    Unlike other sledging flags which were taken to the Ice, Keohane made and embroidered this flag in the expedition’s hut at Cape Evans and then carried it with him on his sledging journeys. It has a standard with the Cross of St George and an embroidered Irish harp in yellow thread with the legend "Erin" Co Brauch (Ireland Forever).

  • Titus Oates Sleeping Bag Cover

    Titus Oates Sleeping Bag Cover


    This canvas bag was used to store the inner eiderdown sleeping bag used by Captain Oates during the British Antarctic Expedition 1910 - 1913, led by Robert Falcon Scott. Oates reached the South Pole with Scott and his comrades only to find that they had been beaten to the goal by Roald Amundsen.

    Oates became a hero in many people’s eyes when, on the return from the Pole, he intentionally walked out of the tent and into a blizzard to his death in order to try and save the lives of his comrades. This poignant object shows Oates’s characteristic naming of his gear and remains to help tell the story of this remarkable man.

  • Completely wooden bicycle made by Lewis Benschop

    Completely wooden bicycle made by Lewis Benschop


    Every part of this unique full size ride-able bicycle is made from native New Zealand timbers.

    The bicycle was designed and built by Mr Lewis Benschop. Mr Benschop was born in the Netherlands in 1946 and immigrated to Christchurch at age 19 after completing an apprenticeship in furniture making and restoration. As well as working in the furniture industry, Mr Benschop created woodwork at home as a hobby and passion. Most of the pieces he made were one-off as he made them for a challenge.

    He worked on this bicycle for around five years, redoing the wheels particularly to ensure they remained round and did not split or warp.

  • Lecture notes 'Southern Journey 1911 - 12', 8 May 1911

    Lecture notes 'Southern Journey 1911 - 12', 8 May 1911


    These handwritten notes by Capt. Robert Falcon Scott set out his plans for journey to the South Pole during the British Antarctic Expedition 1910-13. Various lectures were given to the men of the expedition during the long winter months spent in the hut at Cape Evans. Recently discovered by a London bookseller and acquired by Canterbury Museum, this manuscript gives details of Scott's plans for the journey in which he and four of his companions lost their lives.

  • Fossil penguin

    Fossil penguin


    This specimen preserves the almost complete skeleton of a penguin along with numerous small fish bones that may represent the bird’s last meal. It was found as a loose boulder on the North Canterbury coast with only a few wing (flipper) bones exposed. Initial preparation has revealed the presence of many other bones, including the skull and breast bone. Given the location of its discovery, it is probably Pliocene in age, approximately five million years old. This is the latest in a number of fossil penguins the Museum has received in the last year. The other specimens are much older, around 60 million years old, and much less complete.

  • Return Ball Play mechanical toy

    Return Ball Play mechanical toy


    When wound up the ball player in this toy moves the bat, his head and his hand and hits the ball which moves up the guide and, depending on the power in the hit, goes through one of the holes in the top. Once through the hole the ball comes back down the shoot to be hit again. This multiplayer toy was played with by three generations of the same Christchurch family and was only brought out for special occasions. It retains its original box showing the game in action.

  • Cutlery from the British Antarctic Expedition (Terra Nova) 1910 - 1912

    Cutlery from the British Antarctic Expedition (Terra Nova) 1910 - 1912

    2009.80.1 through to 2009.80.1

    Electroplate cutlery customised for use on the British Antarctic Expedition 1910 led by Robert Falcon Scott. The cutlery includes tablespoons, dinner forks and knives bearing the makers mark for the Walker and Hall company, England. Each piece is engraved on the handle with a penguin sitting on a globe surrounded by the expedition name in a circle - the emblem of the expedition. The cutlery belonged to William Burton a fireman and seaman on the Terra Nova who was born in England but moved to Christchurch, New Zealand in 1920 with his wife.

  • Acme referee whistle belonging to Clarence Hare

    Acme referee whistle belonging to Clarence Hare


    This nickel plated brass pea whistle belonged to Clarence Hare, wardroom assistant and Captains steward on the ship Discovery during the British National Antarctic Expedition 1901 - 1903. Hare was very well regarded by Robert Falcon Scott who chose him to be part of the shore party. Hare's adventures included becoming disorientated and falling asleep under the snow (around -25 ") for 36 hours before walking back into camp without any sign of frostbite. This whistle was used to alert other expedition members if you were in trouble and could also have been used to signal the sledge dogs.

  • Luke Adams Kiddibricks

    Luke Adams Kiddibricks


    These miniature toy bricks called Kiddibricks were made by Luke Adams Pottery of Christchurch. The first kiddibricks were made almost by accident when Luke Adams'son Percival experimented with the invention of a brick-pressing machine and, to test it, constructed a small-scale-working model. The results of the trials of this miniature far exceeded everyone's expectations; the demand from local children was such that the venture remained Lilliputian and the 'Kiddibricks' were sold in their thousands from 1893 until the late 1960s. People could make up their own sets by choosing bricks from a large tub in the factory shop.

  • Ships Bell from the Morning

    Ships Bell from the Morning


    The Morning was a relief ship for the British National Antarctic Expedition 1901 - 1903 led by Robert Falcon Scott. The main expedition ship the Discovery reached Antarctica in January 1902. The Morning under the command of William Colbeck sailed to Antarctica in July 1902 with a full cargo of food and equipment for Scott's party. On arrival the supplies were transferred to the Discovery and, for fear of becoming trapped in sea ice, the Morning promptly departed. The Morning returned to McMurdo Sound in January 1904 to again resupply the expedition and accompany the Discovery back to New Zealand.

  • Snow goggles worn by William Lashly

    Snow goggles worn by William Lashly


    William Lashly participated in both the Discovery and Terra Nova expeditions led by Robert Falcon Scott. During the Terra Nova expedition he was a member of the supporting parties laying depots for the attempt to reach the South Pole. Snow blindness was an ever present danger and goggles with green or amber lenses were used to try and prevent damage to the eyes. Lashly wore these goggles during the Terra Nova expedition where he along with Petty Officer Crean saved the life of Lieutenant Evans who was badly affected by scurvy.