About this objectNine-year-old Thora Daisy Kerr Taylor drew this picture of a man with dark hair or wearing a dark flat hat. The young artist also signed her work ‘D. Taylor’ and an adult has written ‘Daisy Taylor’ and the date ‘August 7th 1885’ along the bottom edge.
Thora Daisy, known as Daisy to her family, died of ‘brain fever’ on 15 September 1885, aged nine. Although it is not known for certain what was meant by ‘brain fever’, it is likely that it was some form of meningitis.
While the death of a child was not unusual during the Victorian era, this does not mean that the loss was not felt greatly by parents and family members. In the Kerr Taylor family archives held at Alberton, there are a number of mementoes which serve as poignant reminders of the family’s tragic loss, including other small drawings by Daisy, and a portrait of Daisy with her older sister Adeline Violet. Daisy’s parents also commissioned a stained glass window in the chancel in St. Luke’s Church in Mount Albert, Auckland, in memory of their young daughter. (1)
(1) Jan Harris, ‘Alberton and Its Family,’ 1999
For more information about the Kerr Taylor family and Alberton, which is cared for by Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga, visit our website.
MakerThora Daisy Kerr Taylor (1875-1885)
Date Made7 August 1885
Place MadeAuckland, New Zealand
Medium and MaterialsPencil and ink on paper
Measurements10.7 x 7.5cm
Credit LineCollection of Alberton, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga