Dunedin from Little Paisley.

Date Created



Hocken Pictorial Collections - 14,414



This small watercolour of Dunedin from Little Paisley was painted by Edward Immyns Abbot in 1849. The work was acquired by Dr T.M. Hocken who described the artist as ‘a young surveyor of superior abilities’. The surveyor’s role was to record and detail the landscape. Hence Abbot’s careful documentation of the viewpoint, Little Paisley, called after a group of paisley weavers who lived on what is now the site of the Southern Cemetery. The sketch also reveals the early settlers’ arcadian vision for their new home. The tree stumps indicate the clearing of land for development, while the smoking chimneys and ships in the harbour present the small settlement as already full of activity. The clearly European family, bedecked in proper hats, jackets and shawl stand admiring and claiming the land spread before them. Such figures are not uncommon in the history of European and early New Zealand landscape painting. Through lithography, images such as Little Paisley (published in London around 1853) were distributed throughout ‘the homeland’ inspiring faith in the success of the new colony.
On original mount in ink in Dr Hocken’s hand: Dunedin from Little Paisley. T.M. Hocken; label: Na Te Hakena tenei tiki; label in ink in Dr Hocken’s hand: Little Paisley was on the site of the present Southern Cemetery, so called after a few paisley weavers, who grouped there together at the beginning of the settlement. One of the number, John Barr, was later appointed caretaker & sexton. He now lies under his old hearthstone. This sketch, which is the original, was done in 1849, though not lithographed until about 1853, by Edward Immyns Abbott, a young surveyor of superior abilities, of musical & artistic accomplishments, he died in October 1849. Abbotsford near Green Island was called after him. T.M.H.


177 x 275 mm


watercolour & opaque white on paper

Temporal Coverage


Dr T.M. Hocken’s Collection.


Landscapes & Cityscapes




Abbot, Edward Immyns, -1849, “Dunedin from Little Paisley.,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed June 18, 2024, https://ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/5114.