Tribal Artefacts & New Zealand Historical

Maori and Pacific artefacts are especially in demand. Cordy’s team of in-house experts can assist you in maximising the best results for rare and special pieces as well as complete collections. We have a combined expertise of over 70 years handling many of the best collections and single pieces ever to come to the market. Additionally, New Zealand historical items such as ephemera and photography are keenly sought after. New Zealand’s relatively short history sees pieces which relate to our growing nation being sought by institutions and private collectors who form our client base.


E003 - 0033

A taxidermied Huia,

the female bird with twelve tail feathers, standing in a naturalistic setting. Kept in storage in the dark for the last fifty years. Some restoration.

Realised: $60,000
S0029 - 2001

A rare Māori kaitaka cloak with tāniko borders

collected by William Oldman* in England In the early 20thC, sold to the NZ Government Collection. Of aronui type with double paired weft twined muka body with taniko lower hem and side borders, of typical high density weaving to the unadorned body, evidence of feather decoration.. This style of cloak were extant in the late 17th century but succeeded by korowai styles from the mid-19th century. It may be therefore that this example dates to the first half of the 19th century. [Cf. R. A. Oliver (1811-1889) Portrait of Te Rangihaeata 1849, wearing a kaitaka beneath a kahu kuri]. Y.registered. Ref: Memoirs of the Polynesian Society Vol.14: The Oldman Collection of Maori Artifacts. Oldman, W. O., published by Thomas Avery & Sons, 1938. This kaitaka described and illustrated: 389D Small cloak. Coarser flax-work not so old as the first three. Bottom of cloak is wider and curved. Feathers have been stitched on surface in eleven rows, mostly now missing. Good design border but a small amount of coloured wool has been introduced in the design. Width (top) 1117mm, (bottom) 1270mm, sides 685mm. Taniko borders (remu hem) 142mm (sides) 19mm Provenance: William Ockleford Oldman (1879–1949) English collector and dealer, sold 1948 to the NZ Government Collection [overseen by Dr Roger Duff (1912–1978) ethnologist and director of the Canterbury Museum]; exchanged 1949 in a transaction between Duff and the current owners’ father for a number of items found at the Wairau Bar archaeological site between 1943 and 1948. Thence by bequest. Loan History: The Canterbury Museum Loan No.1702, 1995 - c.2012 * Oldman whilst amassing an extensive collection of Maori artefacts never visited the Pacific. His collection was formed from purchases from small British museum deaccessioning, auctions and private purchase. His primary collecting and trading activity was in the late 19thC and preceding WW1. Subsequently he maintained his Oceanic collection before selling a year before his death to the NZ Government, the transaction negotiated by Duff.

Realised: $30,000
D008 - 0097

An impressive and uncommon mid 20thC long case clock

the case carved with Maori ancestor figures, the hood as a Maori whare, the brass dial with Arabic numerals, ebonised finish and paua shell eyes. 500 x 340 x 2100mm. Provenance: Ex. a Queen Street, Auckland Jewellery shop early/mid 20thC where it was displayed for many years.

Realised: $18,500
D011 - 0056A

A large and impressive New Zealand nephrite/pounamu water worn 'floater' boulder

showing pale rind and mid/deep green main body tone. Roughly oval form with peaked highlights to the top. Approx. 117 kgs. Note: It takes many 1000's of years of wear to achieve this floater form. Nephrite registers 6 to 6.5 on the moh hardness scale.

Realised: $9,500
D008 - 0102

OLD MAORI CARVED LONG LINTEL EX AUCKLAND TOWN HALL

CATALOGUE ADDITION: Council Archivists suggest this may have been part of "carvings that decorated the stage associated with Centennial Celebrations". (From written records but no images found) An early/mid 20thC Maori carved long lintel ex. Auckland Town Hall, carved with a central stylised figure flanked by three pairs of further figures and scrolls. Paua insert eyes. 2700 x 300mm. Provenance: Ex. Auckland Town Hall basement area. Removed for refurbishment and acquired c.1970 by the ethnographic specialist Mike Higgs, (now deceased), then on sold to our vendor.

Realised: $9,500
E003 - 0030

Charles Frederick Goldie, manuscript inscribed, signed and dated print,

the portrait of Pani of the Ngātiawa Tribe. The sitter's head held in her hands and downcast eyes evoke a sense of sadness and contemplation. Goldie's portrayal of what he believed was a dying race. Inscribed - "Thoughts" for R. H. Wardell, C.F. Goldie, May '37. 250 x 190mm Cf. C.F. Goldie "Prints, Drawings & Criticism" page 191. The original artwork of Pani entitled "Memories, The Last of Her Tribe". Colour prints are recorded as being made in 1943, '48 and '68 (the current example predates these evidently by the inscription, signature and date.) The author notes in the Introduction: "Not all prints may be included ..." " As well, some Goldie paintings and prints have been reproduced with insufficient information to allow identification of date and place of publication and details of publisher and/or printer."

Realised: $7,500
E001 - 0039

A 19thC Māori carved whalebone kotiate (hand club),

the butt knob carved as a profile mask head with ring eyes, drilled suspension hole, smooth all over patina. The traditional kidney form carved blades with two ‘eyelets’. L. 290mm. Registered Y17078.

Realised: $4,800
D008 - 0093

An old 19th/20thC Maori carved stylised figured post ex. Whakarewarewa Village

the red painted stylised figure with notch carved detail, red paint finish. Rising from a square section painted post with diamond notched rail space. H.1535mm. Registered Y21315. Must be a registered collector to purchase.

Realised: $4,400
D008 - 0077

A 20thC pounamu mere

in kawakawa variety stone, fine translucent spatula blade, pierced suspension hole and ridged butt knob. L.360mm.

Realised: $4,000
D008 - 0076

A 20thC pounamu mere

in uncommon mottled blue inanga variety stone, slender spatula shape with increased depth at the grip, pierced suspension hole and ridged butt knob. L.345mm.

Realised: $3,800