This image has All Rights Reserved.
Please follow the Buy or license link under each image to apply to use this image. (Charges may apply)
Why you need to apply for the use of this image
Rights for this work may be:
- controlled by the artist, the artist's estate, or other rights holders; or
- unclear - Te Papa will do a more detailed analysis of the work’s rights history; or
- covered by Te Papa’s Mana Taonga principle which supports the rights of holders of traditional knowledge to determine how the image may be used.
You need to make sure you don’t infringe on the rights of third parties before you use this image. Our image request process helps with this. Te Papa does not authorise the use of this image beyond the uses allowed by the “fair dealing” provisions of the New Zealand Copyright Act, 1994.
More information about copyright
We recommend these resources for more information:
- Copyright in NZ - Ministry of Economic Development
- Copyright guidelines and resource - Lianza
- Enabling use and re-use - Digital NZ
Find more information about Te Papa's rights project on our blog, including how rights types are assigned.
Get in touch
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
- if you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, or
- if you wish to contact the rights holder for this work. We will assist where we can.
Hansen, Hans (carver), 1914-1918, New Zealand
|Medium summary||Inlay of kohekohe, rewa rewa, and paua shell|
|Materials||kauri, wood, paua shell, paint|
|Technique||marquetry, wood carving, inlay, painting|
x 290mm (Length)
x 187mm (Width/Depth)
Open: 155mm (Height) x 290mm (Length) x 187mm (Width/Depth)
|Credit line||Purchased 2005|
German-born Hans Hansen decorated this box while he was interned as an 'enemy alien' on Somes/Matiu Island during World War I. The island, in the middle of Wellington Harbour, was to be Hansen's home from August 1914 to December 1918 and is painted on the inside lid of the box.
Although a prisoner of war, Hansen could still earn extra money for tobacco and other small luxuries by selling carved trinkets and boxes. Despite being officially a security risk, he was permitted to go into town on several occasions to buy materials for his craftwork. It was a lucrative hobby: Hansen even sold an inlaid box to one of the soldiers at the camp for £1/5 (1 pound, 5 shillings, or 25 shillings). Calculating for inflation, this works out at between $150 and $200 in 2008. In Hansen's day, 7 shillings and 3 pence bought 1 pound of tobacco, so his earnings from the box could have purchased 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms).
An enemy alien
Hansen was a tall (1.85 metres or 6 feet, 1 inch), tattooed man working on Wellington wharves for the Union Steam Ship Company at the time of his detention. He had arrived in New Zealand three years earlier, but had put off becoming naturalised.
However, New Zealand citizenship did not necessarily help those of German or Austrian descent. Under the War Regulations Act 1914, 4000 Germans and 2000 Austro-Hungarians were registered as 'enemy aliens' - even those who were naturalised. The act also defined men who were of military age like Hansen, who was 29, as security threats, who as such could be detained by the Minister of Defence.
Altogether around 450 enemy aliens were imprisoned on Somes/Matiu Island in Wellington Harbour and Motuihe in the Waitemata Harbour, Auckland, during World War I, an indication of a prevailing atmosphere of intense anti-German feeling, which sometimes became hysterical.
Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.