Explore the collection at Highwic

Although mostly not original to the Buckland family, the collection at Highwic consists of domestic interior furnishings commensurate with a high status Victorian residence, not to mention a large family. 

Of particular note within this collection are:

  • The most significant collection of works of art amongst Heritage New Zealand properties, including many pieces creating by members of the Buckland family of landscape scenes of Auckland and its environs
  • A large collection of early children’s toys and games, including a magnificent doll’s house
  • A large collection of costume, textiles, jewellery and other accessories
  • A significant collection of early colonial furniture and fine china
  • Family books, sheet music and photographs.
Held at Highwic (although not connected to the property) is the Heritage New Zealand wallpaper collection, much of which is made up of the group of wallpapers collected by Stanley Northcote-Bade. This is believed the largest collection of early wallpapers in the southern hemisphere. It contains some 2,000 pieces of wallpaper (rolls, sample books and fragments from walls) dating from the 1840s through to the 1970s.

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 Highwic at New Zealand Museums

  • My dream baby

    Numerous playthings rest in the nurseries, bedrooms and playrooms of Heritage New Zealand properties across New Zealand. They were the treasured friends of the little girls and boys who lived there.  This doll with a bisque head, composite body and wearing a kimono was made by the German manufacturer Armand Marseille as part of the "My Dream Baby" series from the 1920s, which produced a number of babies of various ethnicities. Image: Heritage New Zealand

  • Puck statue

    Realised by Luca Madrassi (1848-1919), a sculptor born in Tricessimo, Italy, this bronze statue depicts Puck, a mischievous fairy and nature spirit from mythology. The delicate figure stands on a pedestal made of alabaster.  This piece was given to Highwic in 1979. The donor’s grandfather bought the Puck in Chicago, probably at the World’s Columbian Exposition Fair, also known as The Chicago’s World’s Fair, in 1893. Image: Heritage New Zealand

  • Parrot

    This parrot, now safely stuffed and contained within a glass dome, is said to have flown regularly between Highwic and Simla, the home of Mariamne, ( a Buckland daughter) and husband, Colonel Morrow.  When alive, the parrot probably added an exotic touch to Highwic and its garden.  A high maintenance pet and the privilege of wealthy owners, the parrot was also a way for the Buckland family to show off their status and to reinforce the grandeur of their home. Image: Heritage New Zealand

  • Mount everest game

    On 29 May 1953 New Zealander Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Mount Everest, marking the first successful recorded ascent of the world’s highest mountain.  English game and toy manufacturer, Chad Valley, created this board game around the same time, inspiring budding young mountaineers throughout the world.  The colourful board starts the game at Base Camp, passes through ravines, past glaciers and finishes at the summit. Image: Heritage New Zealand

  • Buckland personal items

    These objects, original to Highwic, belonged to the Buckland family and are evidence of their wealth and social status.  The wallet, made of crocodile skin with pigskin lining and silver fittings, belonged to Alfred Buckland and still contains his photographs.  The housekeeping belt is composed of alternating sections of small metal squares with an embossed circle pattern.  It was probably used to loop the keys of the house. This kind of belt, used to run efficiently a wealthy household, was a vital item to the Victorian mistress of a household.

  • Meteor game

    Space game! Made in Germany by F Ad Richter some time after 1869, this Meteor game was found by the Heritage New Zealand Auckland Collections Registrar under a cavity of a staircase at Highwic. Image: Heritage New Zealand