Posted on 11 December 2019
The Ron Keam Collection auction on Tuesday 10 December was Art+Object's final auction for 2019, achieving an impressive auction total of $505 000.
Professor Ron Keam was Associate Professor of Physics at The University of Auckland, as well as author of the magnificent Tarawera: The Volcanic Eruption of 10 June 1886. An enthusiastic historian, Keam had a life-long fascination with the mystery of geothermal activity and the history associated with Mt Tarawera, its eruption and the active geothermal districts that surround it. Over the course of his professional career Keam accumulated a large and significant collection of photographs, books, postcards, pamphlets, manuscripts and ephemera focusing on Tarawera, the 1886 eruption and the surrounding geothermal area. Complimenting these items, the collection also held a number of important paintings by well-known artists who captured the area.
The auction was well attended by New Zealand collectors and institutions, with the highest prices achieved lot 127 Charles Blomfield, Rotomahana after the Eruption (illustrated) and lot 129 Ina Haszard, The Tarawera Eruption which each sold for $55 350.
Preliminary highlights from the auction include:
12. George Grey, Journal of an Expedition Overland from Auckland $1535
18. David Rough, Narrative of a Journey $1475
39. Abel J. Tasman, Journal of His Discovery of Van Dieman's Land $3690
53. W. Thomson Leys, The Volcanic Eruption of Tarawera $270
79. Henry Heylyn Hayter, Notes of a Tour in New Zealand $985
81. Charles Morton Ollivier, A Visit to the Boiling Springs $615
105. W. Melville, Stereo Cards and Viewer $920
107. New Zealand Postcards album $2030
121. Postcards of Ruapehu and Thermal areas $490
127. Charles Blomfield, Rotomahana after the Eruption $55 350
129. Ina Haszard, The Tarawera Eruption $55 350
133. Charles Blomfield, The White Terraces $49 200
137. Charles Blomfield, Geyser Terrace, Whakarewarewa $28 290
138. Charles Blomfield, Rotokakahi and Motu Tawa $22 140
147. J. P. Backhouse, Pink Terraces with Waka c. 1900 $2215
152. Rev. John Kinder, Roto Kanapanapa, Wai Pounamu, Rotomahana $16 605
159. Arthur J. Vogan, Archive of illustrations, papers and sketches $4305
169. John Chantrey Harris, The Southern Guide to the Hot Lake District $615
182. George French Angas, the New Zealanders Illustrated $14 450
208. S. Percy Smith, Sketch Map of the Tarawera Eruption $15 990
219. Alfred Fairbrother, Botanical Collection - New Zealand Ferns $665
222. Pake - Tagged Raincape $4305
237. Government Tourist Department, Photograph Album - Maori and Tourism $2460
266. Charles Spencer, Tarawera Album $13 530
271. George Valentine, Pre and Post Eruption Photos $5535
280. George Dobson Valentine, Album - Photographs of New Zealand $7685
282. Wheeler & Sons, Photograph Album - Scenery $2090
* All listed prices include buyer's premium and GST. A full list of prices realised will be published online shortly.