|Mounted albatross head, Tauranga Heritage Collection|
The albatross head was a present from the famous ornithologist Walter Buller (1838-1906) as thanks for bird illustrations drawn by Pillans. A keen collector of bird specimens Buller is best known for his famous book The History of the Birds of New Zealand first published in the early 1870s.
|Buller's Birds (Avaritia non habet legem), by Liam Barr (Courtesy of the artist)|
The head was donated to the collection by Mary Lellman in the 1970s. As the granddaughter of William and Mary Pillans, after whom Tauranga’s Pillans Point is named, Mary recalled that after William’s death the head was removed by her grandmother as she believed that it would bring bad luck.