Theodora von Arnim and her granddaughter

Books by the Baroness

Theodora von Arnim and her granddaughter

A new collection of children’s books, hand-illustrated and beautifully written by the grandmother of the von Arnim family, has recently become available at the Haute Cabrière Cellar Door in Franschhoek.


Grandmother. Mother. Artist. Born in 1910 in Cape Town, Theodora is mother to Achim von Arnim, the founder of Haute Cabrière and our first-generation Cellar Master. Theodora was a natural-born artist. Known by those who knew her as a very dynamic and remarkable woman, her artistic flair and creative nature would be inherited by many von Arnim generations to come, evident through Achim’s own art collection showcased throughout the Estate as well as her grandchildren’s flair for poetry and design.

Theodora von Arnim and her son Achim von Arnim drinking champagne


Affectionately known in the family and by close friends as ‘the Baroness’, Theodora had a great love for animals. Living on a large acreage outside of Stellenbosch, she had the joy of being surrounded by dogs, cats, horses, turkeys, and a cow called Ouma which gave the family the creamiest milk. The farmyard atmosphere was also a sanctuary for the family’s pet goat, Tilly, who found in a bush one Easter morning and adopted as well as a host of kittens found abandoned at the side of the road. 
Having thrived in her menagerie, Theodora thought it imperative to sow the seeds of love and respect for animals in the hearts of minds of her children. In keeping with her artistic nature, the Baroness began writing and illustrating stories about her animals in her twilight years which gave her great joy. Sadly, she passed away at age 86 having never shared her little books with the public. That is until now.I am Tanja von Arnim, her granddaughter, and along with my mother Hildegard von Arnim, we have worked on publishing the books to share with family and friends at Haute Cabrière. Seven books are now available from Haute Cabrière Estate in Franschhoek, all hand-illustrated by the beloved Baroness. Family means the world to us, and it is an honour to share a piece of our family with yours. Storytime is special with our kids, and we hope you stop by to page through some of the beautiful artworks and find a story that resonates with your children to share in together at bedtime.
Kitty-Cats-Galore Book by Theodora von Arnim
Tanja von Arnim at the history wall at Haute Cabrière


  1. Canine Encounters; written and dedicated to her grandsons Takuan and Tamo von Arnim, the book follows the travels of a dog named Sirius from Observatory to Veldrift and his adventures along the way. A personal favorite of Takuan von Arnim.
  2. Kitty-Cats Galore: includes a series of three stories; The velvet Handshake, Nicki’s complaint, and Shadow the Puddy Cat.
  3. Tuka’s Namibian Adventures: written for her daughter Brunsi, this book entails the story of Tuka the dog and her travels from Cape Town all the way to the Namibian Usakos and her attempt to evade dangers.
  4. Miaow: the case of a feline friendship (written in German and English). An intriguing tale of the turbulent relationship between unusual feline friends Blicks and Parker. A personal favorite of Tanja von Arnim.
  5. Parker Stripes: the tale of an enchanting kitten and her art-loving mistress.
  6. A Dog’s Life: told through the eyes of a dog named Nicki, who grew up on a farm and ended up in the pound, trying to make his way back to the countryside.
  7. Tuka Lost and Found (written in German, English, and Afrikaans). Follows a journey of Tuka through Namibia as he gets lost along his travels and learns how to find his way back home.

RETAIL | Now selling on the property for R50 a book at Haute Cabrière’s Cellar Door and Bakery.

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