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.


B02-0158

An important and unique memento and collection of archival material associated with Sir Edmund Hillary
Mt. Everest and Antarctica. A stone collected by Hillary on the first ascent of the summit of Mt. Everest May 29th, 1953, mounted in a Nepalese brooch/pendant. The 'Hillary Stone' to the centre of a cross framed by an open circular mount set with small turquoise and coral cabochons. With a 2003 signed and witnessed letter of authentication and provenance - this stone was gifted by Sir Ed to his brother Rex and thence by descent to Rex's son John, our vendor. Also accompanying this lot: Eight manuscript and typescript letters to Rex and Jenny Hillary 14 March, 8 April, 20 May and 11 July 1953; 10 May and 2 July 1954; to Mary Davis 30 June 1953; to John Hillary 3 October 1957. Telegram to Rex Hillary 5 Feb 1957; Postal Souvenir Cover T.A.E. Scott Base to Suzanne Hillary 11 Jan 1957; formal printed appreciation card Hillary’s parents to Jim & Mary Davis 5 Jun 1953; six Hillary family postcards; signed and inscribed 1st edition copy (1961) of 'No Latitude For Error'. Notably the 20th May 1953 (days before the first ever ascent) air letter from Camp IV Advanced Base on Everest details weather delays to ascent route establishment, concern regarding oxygen equipment viability, expression of wishes should he die and admiration of his fellow climbers. See also https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12202329 And:https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/letters-written-sir-edmund-hillary-days-before-ascending-mt-everest-go-auction-block?variant=tb_v_1

Realised: $62,000

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

A11-0136

An impressive Anton Seuffert desktop writing compendium of New Zealand native timbers
including totara, rewa rewa, rimu and puriri, two folding doors open to receptacles for paper, envelopes, etc, with a section to the back that pulls up to reveal year, month and day calendars. Each door has a panel inlaid with a variegated cube pattern and the sides and drawer front are inlaid in a basket weave pattern, with the back of one piece of burr totora. Original Seuffert paper label inside and a silver presentation plaque to the front 'To the Venerable John Frederic Lloyd, Archdeacon of Waitemata. A token of love and esteem, from the clergy of the Archdeaconry, on his leaving New Zealand, 7 Feb. 1870.' Note: Of all the furniture and decorative inlaid items Anton and William Seuffert are known to have produced, this is possibly the only desktop compendium thought to exist. W.440 x D.320 x H.430mm.

Realised: $23,000

B04-0147

A good pre-European inanga pounamu hei tiki
of elegant proportions and prestigious colour, chin to left shoulder, hands to thighs, hour-glass suspension hole to top, semi-concealed at the front, evidence of another hole beside. The reverse inscribed with presumably a museum collection number and previous owner 'E146.283 Mrs Haigh, Amberley'. Recorded as found at Amberley, ChCh in the 1920s while ploughing farmland. H.90mm. Provenance: Private Estate Collection. Note: the inanga variety of pounamu (nephrite) is prized for its white, grey-green and blue tones, sourced particularly by Poutini Ngāi Tahu and named after the juvenile native minnow or whitebait. Registered Y3275.

Realised: $22,000

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

B03-0135

A massive kauri gum boulder
in polished state and natural as found form. Collected by a Scottish immigrant who worked in the kauri logging industry, c.1890s, as a limber (removing top branches to facilitate felling). In this employment he recovered this and two other naturally bled massive boulders, the others still held by family descendants. Weight approx. 9.9kgs (21lbs). 500 x 230 x 175mm.

Realised: $14,500

B03-0111

The following 17 lots are from the Collection of Hannah Martha Dillon
née Carkeek (1881-1963). A mere pounamu, traditional spatulate shape with swollen butt knob pierced by a large diameter off-centre hourglass hole. With an associated framed 'whakapapa' listing 11 owners, from Muriwai to Aporotanga and Te Awanui. inscribed with subscript: 'Aporotanga paid it to Te Awanui as [crossed out: compens] utu for the great fight that took place between the Arawas & the Ngatiawas at Te Awateatua [possibly Te-Awa-o-te-Atua Pa or river in the Bay of Plenty]. The fight afterwards known as the Waikaukau.' Y20558. L.360mm

Realised: $12,500

B04-0154

A good pre-contact/contact period mere pounamu
the tapered butt with four curved tapered grooves, hour-glass suspension hole, traditional spatulate blade, dark/mid-green tone, evidence of start of another suspension hole. L.350mm. Provenance: Private Estate Collection. Y20904 Registered.

Realised: $12,000

B03-0122

A whalebone tewhatewha
with distal blade extension and tapering shaft carved with a profile weku head inlaid with paua ring eyes to either side. L.1000mm. Y20567 registered. From the Collection of Hannah Martha Dillon, née Carkeek (1881-1963).

Realised: $11,000

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