Story: Collecting

Walter Mantell riding a moa

Walter Mantell riding a moa

Bones from the moa – a large, flightless and extinct New Zealand bird – were collected from the early 19th century. Public servant and naturalist Walter Mantell was an important collector of moa bones. He sent large collections to Richard Owen of the British Museum, who was the first scientist to identify moa species. Here, Mantell is fancifully depicted perched on a partly skeletal moa. The document under his arm refers to his government work setting aside land reserves for Māori.

Using this item

Hocken Library, University of Otago
Reference: Acc 11,594
Artwork by James Brown

Permission of the Hocken Library Uare Taoka o Hakena, University of Otago, must be obtained before any re-use of this image. Further information may be obtained from the Library through its website.

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How to cite this page:

Richard Wolfe, 'Collecting - Early collecting', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 1 March 2024)

Story by Richard Wolfe, published 5 Sep 2013