Artist unknown :[Aorere, Golden Bay ca 1843]

Artist unknown :[Aorere, Golden Bay ca 1843]
1843 - 1850
Spooner, James Swinton, 1816-1884

An extensive view from a high point over Wainui Inlet and Golden Bay, with a promontory in the right foreground, with Maori drying fish (including stingrays and barracuda) on racks, individuals and groups standing and sitting. Tata Beach is at the far left foreground of the picture, at Abel Tasman Point. A cabbage tree is in the left foreground. There are more fish-racks, tents and long canoes, some with masts and sails on the beach below in the foreground, with other Maori. A large European vessel in full sail is near the shore. Two other larger European ships and two smaller are out in the deeper water of the bay. A small island on the right may be Taupo Point, which is an island now only at high tide. It may also be one of the Tata Islands. The other island further away is one of the Tata Islands. The hills in the distance across the water are, to the right, the Wakamarama Range, with Mount Burnett on the far right and the Aorere Valley to the left of it. The highest peak on the left is Parapara Peak, and further to the left are the lower hills near Takaka.

Purchased from description and assumed to be the work of Charles Heaphy, but seen to be too primitive in style for him. Another suggestion has been W. F. E. Liardet, but it is not his style. Also suggested has been James Swinton Spooner, an artist and surveyor with the New Zealand Company in Nelson in 1843. However, the Library has no other examples of his work with which to make a comparison. The Maori activities and the absence of any major European presence (apart from the ships) do suggest a date in the 1840s.

Probably Tata Bay. Compare also Charles Heaphy's The Anchorage at Massacre Bay, with very similar terrain. Modern Aorere is upstream from the coast on the Aorere River.

Exhibited in 'Wide-Eyed: Early Images of New Zealand' exhibition of works by settler artists, held at the National Library of New Zealand Gallery, 18 July - 9 November 1997.

Other Titles - James Swinton Spooner

Quantity: 1 watercolour(s).

Physical Description: Watercolour on paper, 760 x 555 mm

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Partly restricted - Please use surrogate in place of original
1 watercolour(s), Works of art, Watercolours, Watercolour on paper, 760 x 555 mm, Orientation: Vertical image
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Spooner, James Swinton, 1816-1884. Artist unknown :[Aorere, Golden Bay ca 1843]. Ref: C-030-019. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23243997

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