Explore the collection at Alberton
The collection at Alberton is representative of a wealthy family across the Victorian and Edwardian periods. Well-represented are high status objects such as early colonial furniture, fine bone china and silverware and works of art.
Standard domestic items from the Victorian kitchen are also on view. There are a large range of toys, books, business records and family photographs and ephemera, which provide are more intimate glimpse into the individuals who lived in the house. Many items reflect the family’s origin and progress across the world from Scotland, to India, to New Zealand.
When entering Alberton one gets the impression that the family might return at any moment. Wardrobes and drawers are full of clothes, side tables of cutlery and plates, and music books are on the piano. Original preserves and bottled fruit are still in the pantry. The tartan costume and original christening gown worn by all of the eleven children in the family and seen in family photographs are still in the nursery. Partially constructed garments are visible in the sewing room. The family’s interests in entertaining, music, sports, farming and hunting are still represented on display.
The house was occupied until the early 1970s by Muriel, youngest daughter of Sophia and Allan Kerr Taylor. After Sophia’s death she lived in the house with two of her sisters, all unmarried, and the group were renowned for living a frugal existence much as they had lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. As such, the contents of the house are believed to be mostly original.
Please note that due to conservation reasons not all objects may be on public display at any one time. If you are interested in viewing an item, please contact the Property Manager.
Heritage New Zealand manages its collection of historic objects in its properties from a central database. You can find out more about the how the Heritage New Zealand collection is managed, including donating items on this website.
To see further highlights from the collection online, search for Alberton at New Zealand Museums.