Title / object name
Xmas (Christmas) dinner 25.12.05
|Maker ||Role ||Date |
|Adkin, Leslie ||photographer ||25.12.1905 |
black and white original negative (glass)Materials
silver, photographic gelatin, sheet glass, photographic plates
quarter plate (1/4)Classification
gelatin dry plate negatives, black-and-white negatives
Gift of G. L. Adkin family estate, 1964
This photograph shows a New Zealand family Christmas celebration from 1905. It was taken by 17-year-old Leslie Adkin at Cheslyn Rise, his family's farm located near Levin in the Horowhenua. His father William sits at the head of the table with his mother Annie at the opposite end.
Traditions in transit
The formal dining room and table setting suggest that a traditional hot roast dinner is on the menu. Settlers from Britain continued to eat these Christmas meals in New Zealand, despite the summer heat. Although the Adkin family adhered to this Christmas custom, they have replaced European Christmas decorations like holly, mistletoe and ivy with a vase of summer flowers.
A great success
Leslie Adkin's diary entry for Monday 25 December 1905 records the main events of the day:
'A fine day. Made acetylene gas. Went to Back Bush for Xmas tree. Took photo of company at Xmas dinner. Dressed Xmas tree. Uncle Frank dressed up as Father Christmas ( Clare in her fancy dress) and gave presents to children who did not recognise him. Good fun. Father gave me his desk and I got a diary [and] serviette ring. A great success.'