February 17, 2015
Key Maori images up for auction
The assembler of a collection of Maori images going up for auction tomorrow says a 1642 drawing of canoes on Tasman Bay can be seen as the foundation of European representations of tangata whenua.
The drawing by one of Abel Tasman's crew has just been used to identify ancient canoe haulage sites or tauranga waka in Golden Bay.
John Perry says he bought a 1650 etching of the drawing for the Rotorua Art Museum when he was director there in the 1970s, and later found a copy for his own collection,
It contains a wealth of information.
"It shows clearly that the Maori were in double-hulled canooes and they used what was called a lanteen sail, all this is clealry visible in the drawing. The men dressed in cloaks, a standing warrior with a paddfle, chanting, so it's a fascinating image and it's the very foundation of European images of the Maori," Mr Perry says.
The collection up for auction tomorrow night at Art and Object in Auckland includes 44 images of Maori over 300 years, including George French Angas lithographs, Burton Brothers photographs and a rare photo of Rewi Maniapoto and his son.
Images are in the catalogue at http://www.artandobject.co.nz/auction/89_2/decorative-arts
FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH JOHN PERRY CLICK ON THE LINK
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