Artist unknown :William Deans and his brother squatted at Riccarton in front of the R[iver] Otakaroa or the Putaukanuit [?] R[iver], the Avon, in 1843 on the farm abandoned by Dodd & Davis, which was a little colony of itself on which they had expended several hundred - the plains around them are rich and ready for the plough at the back of the farm is a wood of 300 acres (only 50 - Godley). [Between 1844 and 1851?]
- 1843 - 1851
- Cridland, Henry John, 1821-1867; Burnand, William Henry, active 1843-1850s; Turnbull, Alexander Horsburgh, 1868-1918
A naive watercolour of the Deans brothers' farmhouse and outbuildings, viewed from across the "Avon or Shakspear River", with horses, cows and sheep in the foreground, a log bridge, a man (presumably one of the Deans brothers) with a dog under a tree. The house is red, with a second storey with dormer window, a rain barrel below the downpipe from the roof. The outbuildings to the right of the house appear to be thatched stables, are open at the front and shelter a horse and three carts. Trees are roughly indicated behind the house. On the verso are holograph notes about Banks' Peninsula, copied from Duppa, Daniels [?] and Tyrell and from Captain [William Mein] Smith about Port Cooper (Lyttelton) and its merits for settlement versus those of Akaroa.
Dating: William Deans was drowned in 1851, a fact that is not mentioned here, suggesting, along with the general tone of the notes, that this drawing may have been completed before then, although the two-storied building on the site was not completed until 1856. Other material from the same source was produced about 1850 or 1851. William Mein Smith's report was completed about 1843. The page has been removed from a notebook. The author of the notes (and artist) appears to be somebody associated with the Canterbury Association. The first two-storied house at Deans' property was built in 1856, when Jane Deans built a larger house on the site in preparation for the arrival of her brother and his family. The house shown here may be the 1856 north-east section, the earliest part of modern Riccarton House. Other sections were added in 1874 and 1900, resulting in a much larger building.
One possible artist is John Henry Cridland, whose other drawings from the same source are quite naive. However another drawing by him of the Deans' property (neg MNZ 1215 1/4 - 'Riccarton, November 1850' - Hocken Library) is very different in style from this one.
Identification: The building shown appears to be a roughly-drawn version of the first two-storied house on the site, completed in 1856. Other drawings of the same building appear as Plate 5 and Plate 14 (the latter by Robert Park) in Pioneers on Port Cooper Plains. The Deans family of Riccarton and Homebush by John Deans (Christchurch, 1964).
Inscriptions: Recto - top centre - [title in ink as above, with "only 50 Godley" in pencil in another hand]; Recto - centre right - [in river, in pencil]: Avon or Shakspear River.; Verso - [in ink, page covered in text]
Quantity: 1 watercolour(s).
Physical Description: Ink and watecolour on laid paper 310 x 198 mm
Provenance: Originally tipped in to a volume of The New Zealand Journal, ca 1852, from Alexander Horsburgh Turnbull's collection. Prior to acquisition by Alexander Turnbull the volumes had belonged to W H Burnand.
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- Partly restricted - Please use surrogate in place of original
- 1 watercolour(s), Works of art, Watercolours, Ink and watecolour on laid paper 310 x 198 mm, Orientation: Vertical image, Watermark: Paper watermarked in centre with Britannia in a circle, surmounted by a crown.
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