Chest of drawers, circa 1814 [2007.38.1]
The chest of drawers was brought to New Zealand on the Active in 1814 by John King (1797-1854) and his wife Hannah.
It is one of the first recorded pieces of Western made furniture to arrive in the country and os immense design significance and historical importance. The plain, pragmatic piece made from Australian hardwood also makes it significant in terms of early Australian furniture making practice.
John King had been a shoemaker in Oxfordshire where he was born in 1797. He was recruited by Rev Samuel Marsden as a lay-missionary in 1810. While training in Australia he met and married Hannah Hansen, and in 1814 while Hannah was pregnant with their second child the couple travelled with Marsden to Rangihoua in the Bay of Islands.