Cordys

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.


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

C007-0250

An extinct adult little bush moa skeleton display
the near complete moa (Anomalopteryx didiformis) skeleton principally from the one bird found c.1969/1970 on a private farm, in Hill Top Cave, Oparure, South Waitomo by our vendor. A couple of years later a quarry license was issued and the spoil infilled into the cave. Some minor restoration. Mounted on a steel rod with number 8 and fine wire support. H.900mm. This skeleton was on display in the Waitomo Museum from c.1972 for a number of years. Note: The little bush moa was the smallest moa species, occurring in forest throughout the North and South Islands. Slender with relatively long legs, it inhabited dense forest and shrubland. Little bush moa lived in wet rainforests and were probably preyed on by both Haast's eagle (South Island only) and Eyles' harrier.

Realised: $26,000

C0012-0070

Extinct moa skeleton
Mantell's moa, species Pachyornis geranoides, the bones nearly entirely from one bird, the skull a full constructed replacement, part of the original skull sold with this lot. H.700mm. L.1250mm. Constructed using No.8 and fuse wire displayed on a wooden base with aluminium main rod support. Provenance: Found by our vendor c.1970 on Haggis's farm, Upper Waitomo Valley, opposite the entrance to Burr cave, in a 'grotty little hole'.

Realised: $22,000

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

C003-0162

An extinct adult male stout-legged moa skeleton
predominantly the bones from one bird, some plaster restoration and replacement. H.790mm. Provenance: Found by our vendor in 1965 on his Oparure family farm, south Waitomo district. Copy of 1968 newspaper article available illustrating and detailing this moa. Note: The stout-legged moa (Euryapteryx curtus) was the smallest moa species and one of the geographically most widespread. Moa species ranged in size from 12 to 250kg. Constructed for display by our vendor using number 8 wire and other materials.

Realised: $18,000

C0012-0071

An extinct moa skeleton
Little Bush moa or Anomalopteryx didiformis, the bones nearly entirely from the one bird, the skull with some rebuilding and full plaster replacement mandible. Constructed using No.8 and fuse wire displayed on a wooden base with aluminium main rod support. H.800mm. L.1150mm. Provenance: Found by our vendor c1970 in Mason's Dry Cave, North of Hilltop Cave, on private farm in the Waitomo district.

Realised: $14,000

C0012-0087

A 19thC large and impressive Maori pounamu mere
the traditional spatulate blade with reduced grip and rounded butt, the semi-cylindrical suspension hole with tapered outer edges, the nephrite of good dark green tone with dark and pale inclusions. L.415mm. Provenance: Ex. a private old Auckland estate. Registered Y21180. Must be a registered collector to purchase.

Realised: $13,000

B013-0169

An uncommon 19thC Maori pounamu hei tiki
chin turned to the left, remnants of red sealing wax to eyes, right hand to abdomen, left hand to thigh. H.95mm. Note: in the uncommon Bowenite variety of pounamu, displaying high translucency and of good green tone, hei tiki are uncommon in this stone and were prized by Maori. Reg. Y21011.

Realised: $10,000

C006-0182

THE IAN McMILLAN ESTATE COLLECTION. At age 10 Ian McMillan was introduced to carving by Bruce Manley and continued to develop a love
knowledge and understanding of Maori and New Zealand history and culture. Ian spent the latter years of his life based at Parnell, Auckland, New Zealand. He used only traditional hand tools and carving techniques to produce wood carvings that expressed Maori mythology. His work reflected on Maori art. Using found timber enabled Ian to portray work that revealed the piece as if it were possessed of properties of myth and legend, age and use. Ian celebrated the ability to incorporate naturally occurring damage from pepetuna, the boring grub of a pūriri moth; the hollowing effects of decay; the cavities left by colonist’s nails that had completely rusted away, or the remnant of their paint on the timber to enhance those properties. His carving and thoughtful surface detailing elevate his work above that of replica to those of fine art. Ian was born 1965 and died 2016. The items offered in this auction are being sold on behalf of Ian’s estate. Ian Robert McMillan (1965-2016) carved canoe prow - tauihu, elaborately and finely carved in traditional style using found timber with distress resembling that of an ancient prow, the forward facing figure with arms extended back; raised on two carved supports and large plinth. L.1400mm approx. H.770mm.

Realised: $10,000

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