Miniature bureau; XHH.2774.36




Miniature bureau

About this object

The dollhouse (XHH.2774.1) includes this miniature bureau along with a variety of other accessories and furniture. Blanche Gorrie (nee Buckland) gave this dollhouse to her granddaughter, Lesley Buckland Gorrie, as a birthday present.

For centuries, dollhouses and their accessories have been popular children’s toys. Young girls were encouraged to play with dollhouses as they were thought to be efficient learning aids in teaching them how to run a household. (1)

Before the wide availability of mass produced children’s toys in the mid-twentieth century, dollhouses and furniture accessories were mostly handmade, and some showed immense craftsmanship and skill. (2) This dollhouse and some of its accessories were made by returned servicemen who had served in the First World War. It is likely that the dollhouse furniture is combination of handmade pieces produced by these ex-servicemen as well as other items collected by Lesley over a period of time.

This miniature bureau is made from lacquered wood. It has a removable drawer as well as a writing table covered in maroon felt which is able to be slid in and out. The top of the bureau and the side panels are engraved with a bamboo leaf design. It is part of a set of furniture which also includes chairs (XHH.2774.37.1) (XHH.2774.37.3) , an armchair (XHH.2774.37.2) , and a table (XHH.2774.37.5)

(1) Museum of Childhood, ‘Dolls’ houses and miniatures,’ URL:
(2) Peter Clayworth, ‘Children’s play – Toys – from homemade to mass market,’ Te Ara – The Encyclopedia of New Zealand, URL:

For more information about the Buckland family and Highwic, which is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, visit our website.

Medium and Materials



16.7 x 15.8 x 8.5cm

Subject and Association Keywords


Credit Line

Collection of Highwic, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga

Object Type


Object number



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This object is from
Highwic   Highwic

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