Photograph; c. 1898; XCH.1222



About this object

This black and white photograph pictures a young girl seated outside on a cane chair. It is likely that this girl is Marion Elizabeth Millar, who was known to her family as Peggie. Peggie was the daughter of Marian Clendon and Thomas Millar. The “grandmamma” Peggie addressed the photograph to is most likely Jane Takotowi Clendon who lived at Clendon House. Jane took a special interest in Peggie and her sisters. She often would say to them "Never forget that you are ladies. Hold your heads proudly and speak politely to your elders. Don't climb trees or scramble through fences in case you show your frilly drawers." (1)

During the Victorian era, photographs were incredibly popular due to their inexpensiveness and reproducibility, and were taken primarily for distribution to friends and family. This was especially important in colonial societies, such as New Zealand, because photographs enabled people to maintain an emotional connection with relatives and friends living overseas. (2) During the 19th century, travelling around New Zealand was a difficult endeavour due to the country’s rough and untamed environment. Therefore, families and friends who lived in different regions often did not see one another for long periods of time. Thus, photographs also helped to maintain connections between those who lived in different areas of New Zealand.

(1) Florence Keene, 'Kaitaia and its People', 1989.
(2) Geoffrey Batchen, ‘Dream of Ordinary Life: Cartes de visite and the bourgeois imagination,’ in Photography: Theoretical snapshots, edited by J. J. Long, Andrea Novel and Edward Welch (London: Routledge, 2009).

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

Date Made

c. 1898


8.3 x 5.2cm

Object Type


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Medium and Materials


Credit Line

Collection of Clendon House, Heritage New Zealand Historic Pouhere Taonga

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Copyright Licence  

All rights reserved

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