Muff and collarette set, penguin feathers; Unknown maker; 1870-1900; RI.W2011.30...


Muff and collarette set, penguin feathers

About this object

An accessory for fashionable women of the Victorian and Edwardian eras, muffs were generally made from fur. This set is distinctive in that its feathers are thought to come from a penguin. We don't know who made this set but there were several New Zealand based 'feather furriers' who specialised in making sets like these from the pelts of sea birds including: James Constantine, a Dunedin taxidermist, and Elizabeth and Hector Liardet, who ran a feather furriery in Wellington.

This muff and collarette together with a number of garments and accessories were donated by Mackintosh siblings Lesley, June, Robyn and William (Bill) who trace their paternal line to their great-great grandparents, James and Anne Mackintosh who emigrated from Melbourne to Southland in 1866 and farmed properties in Western Southland called Strathmore, Mayfield, and Gladfield (near Drummond).

This pioneering couple had 11 children. The donors link to the second son William who married Caroline Bennett in 1880; they had ten children and farmed at Gladfield, the homestead for which was known as Greenlea.

This muff and collarette would have been worn by women from one of the first two generations of the Mackintosh family in Southland. In 2021 Te Papa borrowed this set to include and share in its Feathermania exhibition.


Unknown maker

Maker Role


Date Made


Place Made


Medium and Materials

organic, animal, feathers, penguin feathers
organic, animal, animal product, silk
organic, vegetal, fibre, processed materials, cotton

Inscription and Marks

Sewn into back of collar on a tyvek: 'W2011.3082.b'
Sewn into inner lip of muff proper left side: 'W2011.3082.a'


Muff = h 210 mm x w 270 mm x d 150 mm
Collar = h 360 mm x w 270 mm x d 10 mm

Subject and Association Keywords

Animals (fauna)

Subject and Association Keywords

Clothing and Accessories

Named Collection

Mackintosh Family Collection

Object Type


Object number



Attribution - Non-commercial (cc) Attribution - Non-commercial (cc)

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