PEPEPE, CHURCH MISSIONARY, STATION (NZ), RESIDENCE OF REV B ASHWELL, 1844

Two Important Private Collections: Modern / Traditional
Melbourne
8 December 2021
21

GEORGE FRENCH ANGAS

(1822 - 1886)
PEPEPE, CHURCH MISSIONARY, STATION (NZ), RESIDENCE OF REV B ASHWELL, 1844

watercolour on paper

20.0 x 27.5 cm (sheet)

inscribed verso: Residence of Rev Benjamin Ashwell – Church Misy [Missionary] Station / at Pepepe (butterfly). / Kaitotehe District / on the Waikato / 60 miles from … / Oct 2nd 1844

Estimate: 
$50,000 – $80,000
Sold for $36,818 (inc. BP) in Auction 66 - 8 December 2021, Melbourne
Provenance

Private collection
Lauraine Diggins Gallery, Melbourne (label attached verso)
David Dridan, Adelaide
Private collection, Adelaide, acquired from the above in June 1984
Thence by descent
Private collection, Adelaide

Exhibited

Possibly: Mr G. French Angas's New Zealand and Australian exhibition, Egyptian Hall, London, April – August 1846, cat. 86
Selected Australian Works of Art, Lauraine Diggins Gallery, Melbourne, May 1984, cat. 5 (label attached verso, illus. in exhibition catalogue)

Literature

A Catalogue of paintings by George French Angas, Illustrative of the Natives and Scenery of New Zealand and South Australia, W. Nicol, London, 1847, cat. 86, p. 7

Catalogue text

1896.jpg


George French Angas
Missionary’s house, New Zealand, 1844
watercolour on paper
16.9 x 22.8 cm
Collection of Rex Nan Kivell,
National Library of Australia, Canberra

The following excerpts are from Philip Jones’ recent publication illustrating the Antipodes: George French Angas in Australia and New Zealand 1844 – 1845, National Library of Australia, Canberra in association with the South Australian Museum, Adelaide, 2021.

According to Angas’s published account [of four months in New Zealand], the party setting out for the Waikato River comprised himself and [Thomas] Forsaith [Protector of Aborigines], with ‘five native boys’, a standard ratio for a mid-nineteenth-century colonial expedition through an unmapped landscape. The party set out for the south [from Auckland] on the morning of 26 September [1844].

… [a] destination was the Church Missionary Society mission at Pepepe, close to the sacred mountain of Taupiri where the Tu Kaitote pa stood, one of two main pa maintained by the paramount rangatira of the Waikato, Te Wherowhero. He and his followers were at Whatawhata on the Waipa River; George French would meet the rangatira there some days later. In the meantime, he was free to sketch a detailed view of the pa with the Taupiri mountain behind.

The mission had been established by Edward Ashworth of the Church Missionary Society only a year or two earlier. It was as picturesque as any subject for Angas:

‘At a bend of the river, the romantic cottage of the missionary suddenly appeared in view.  It was as lovely and secluded a spot as it is possible to imagine: the little cottage built of  raupo, with its white chimneys. And its garden full of flowers – of sweet English flowers, roses, stocks and mignonette – was snugly perched on an elevated plateau overhanging the Waikato: and the access to it was by a small bridge thrown across a glen of fern trees, with a stream murmuring below.’1

1. Angas, Savage Life and Scenes in Australia and New Zealand, London, 1847, vol.2, p.37 in Jones, P., George French Angas in Australia and New Zealand 1844 – 1845, National Library of Australia, Canberra in association with the South Australian Museum, Adelaide, 2021, footnote 62, p. 358

PHILIP JONES