Whale oil was an early New Zealand export. The white spermaceti oil in the head cavity of sperm whales was a valuable commodity, as it could be turned into high-quality candles. They burned with a bright white light and were odourless. The candles shown here are held in the Whanganui Museum, and were made by Prices, the leading candle manufacturers in Victorian Britain. Most of their candles were made from coconut oil, palm oil and paraffin wax, but these whale-oil candles were top of their line.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Permission of the Whanganui Regional Museum must be obtained before any re-use of this image.