Doll cradle; XEC.257


Doll cradle

About this object

This hand-made doll cradle is made from rush or wood shavings woven together in a basket weave. It belonged to Blanche Lush, known as Blannie, who was the daughter of the Anglican minister, Vicesimus Lush and his wife, Blanche. Blannie was born in England in 1843 and moved to New Zealand with her family in 1850 when her father was appointed priest in charge of the All Saints Church in Howick, Auckland. As the daughter of an Anglican minister, the Church and parish activities played a central role in Blannie’s life. In 1878, Blannie travelled to Norfolk Island to serve with the Melanesian Mission for a period of time. (1) She also assisted her father in his work and provided him with the (informal and unpaid) support of a ‘good and efficient “Deconess.”’ (2)

There is no indication of the age of the doll cradle. It could possibly date from Blannie’s childhood (1844-1858). Or it could also be a keepsake from her time on Norfolk Island, as it is possible such work was carried out by the Melanesian students using native methods and materials.

(1) Thames Advertiser, “Untitled,” 4 April 1878, p. 2.
(2) Gillian Nelson, ‘”In quietness and in confidence shall be your strength”: Vicesimus Lush and his journals, 1850-1882,’ Master’s thesis Victoria University of Wellington, 2012, p. 30.

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

Medium and Materials



5.5 x 5 x 9cm

Subject and Association Keywords


Credit Line

Collection of Ewelme Cottage, Heritage New Zealand Historic Pouhere Taonga

Object Type


Object number


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All rights reserved

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