THE NEW ZEALAND EXHIBITION.
i*KOK OCR OWN CORRESPONDENT.] Dunedin, January 20.* Bt the kindness of the Commissioners of the inhibition, I have been placed in possession of the proofsheets of the forthcoming catalogue ; and I hasten to correct some errors and supply some omissions which have been made in the absence of a printed list. ' In the Fine Arts collection, I find that the most numerous exhibitors are Mr. Justice Chapman, and Mr. John Bathgate, the manager of the Bank of Otago; after whom, in point of number, comes Mr. Hyde Harris, the Superintendent of this province. These three gentlemen between them cover fully onehalf of the space devoted to the pictures, and may be said to be the principal contributors of" foreign" talent, that is, of pictures by other than local artists. Mr. Prendergast, however, ably assists by the exhibition of two very large sized paintings by G. Dawe, R, A. ; one,'' The Lady and Minstrel;" the other, " The Rescue," with other smaller pieces by the same artist. A " Sleeping Girl, 1 ' No 87, exhibited by Mr. W. Mason, is by. Schenkel, a Dutch painter of high reputation; and the Head, No. 203, to which I have previously alluded as exhibiting wonderful delicacy of touch, is the portrait of a late resident in Dunedin, himself an artist, done in Edinburgh, by Mr. Alex. Bell Middleton.
Sunning down the list of this " foreign talent," I notice an equestrian portrait of Prince Albert, mounted on his favourite hunter, by the brothers Barraud, famous in their own way in England, and whose third brother is the painter who has contributed so much " native talent" to this exhibition, from Wellington. Somei two or three good marine paintings by Mr. T. Yates, are contributed by Mr. E. B. Cargill. Mr. Justice Chapman is so strictly a cosmopolitan, that I cannot claim for New Zealand the pictures which he shows both as artist and exhibitor, two of which—the Falls of La Puce and the Montmorenci River—date from the learned -gentleman's residence in Canada, to which colony, if to any, the credit of production is therefore due. A child portrait by I Sir Thos. Lawrence is one of the judge's contribu- ' tions ; so also is the face of the judge's friend, John Arthur Roebuck, which the catalogue seems to say, with bare probability, is by the same distinguished I artist. An English Landscape, by Calcott, is exhibited by Mr. Bathgate, who displays a large collection of meritorious paintings, by artists, apparently Scottish, whose names I do not recognize. Mr. Harris shows a St. Cecilia by Carlo Dolce, ns the gem of his collection ; but his Honor has also on the walls a group of horses, which may almost challenge the old master in point of execution. Last, not least, are two 6epia sketches by the wonderful painter, John Martin. They seem to be studies for his 4 Judgment Day' paintings.
I have before attempted to describe the collection of water colours by New Zealand artists. On looking at the catalogue it seems that Mr. Gully's pictures are fewer than I imagined, being only five in number. I may say here, that the best of them have been sold for ten guineas apiece, which is a ridiculously small sum for them whether the labour or the merit is considered. Mr. C. D. Barraud has seventeen paintings in the list; and I find there also a name which had entirely escaped me before,
that of Major Coote. This gentleman exhibits 12 drawings and sketches in water colours, of very fair merit; but they are thrown into the shade by their neighbours, as some time has obviously elapsed since their execution, and the brilliancy of their early tints has gone. The portraits of Mr. Hyde Harris and the Rev. Mr. Stewart of this town, mentioned in a late letter, are by Mr. Irvine, an artist resident here, who shows also some other oil pictures. The catalogue opens up a somewhat lengthy list of local artists:
"Messrs.""J?oWerpO v ßrieH£p-Allttn, Sim»oo, Pliarazyn, Redmayne, Brown, and Bradley, whose works and their merits I will leave to the independent judgment of the visitor. With the paintings are several architectural drawings and plans, principally by Messrs. Mason and Clayton, of Dunedin, the architects of the Exhibition buildings, who show their complete designs for this and many other public works of the colony, including the present and prospective Government houses at Auckland. I believe that MrMason is now in Wellington, engaged in designing the required public buildings for the new capital of the colony. One of the architectural drawings is a design for what is called the < Cargill Monument' now in course of erection in the Octagon, Dunedin, Captain Cargill, the founder of the settlement, is not to remain unhonoured after death; but, instead of sending to a sculptor of renown in another land, the people of Otago raise a monument to the dead brave man, designed and executed in the land of 4 his adoption and built out of its substance. Mr. Swyer, G.E., puts his name to the original drawing which hangs on the wall of the Exhibition; and I see the monument every day as it stands in its place, scarcely finished, cut out of the beautiful limestone of Oamaru, Who actually executed the work Ido not know. Whoever he is, he has spoiled the design by increasing the scroll work arid foliage at the top till the work seems ready to fall by its own topweight. In general conception the monument is after the pattern of Sir Walter Scott's; and there is not much more to be said about it; the general effect is pretty, but the detail is somewhat laboured and unmeaning.
Before leaving the Fine Arts collection, there are a few curiosities to be noticed. Mr. Justice Chapman has a Tuscan crown piece, split in two; the inner side of one half contains a minature portrait of Nell Gwynne, and the two fit together so as to form an apparently whole coin. It is said that King Charles 11. used to carry his mistress' portrait about with him in this innocent form, to avoid suspicion. The same exhibitor has a presentation " star," one of the decorations of the Kennington Cricket Club, in 1787; in the centre is a small painting, which shows the cricket bat of that time, curved at the bottom after, the manner of a hockey stick. His Honor has also the original design, by Mulready, for a postage envelope, before the day of stamps, and laughable caricatures of it in various forms. From the same collection is shown the (to us) still more laughable five-shilling debentures, issued by Governor Fitzßoy, in the early days of New Zealand; and printed notes representing a copper currency of the lowest kind, issued by the imitative public of Wellington at the same time, and, no doubt, for the same good reason — want of money. A very different object of curiosity is a medallion portrait of Oliver Cromwell, the legend to which declares that it has been an heir-loom in the family of Todd since the Great Protector's day; it is exhibited now, apparently under protest, by a daughter of the house of Todd, Mrs. Thomas Jones. The number of pictures here exhibited amounts to 226: and in the corridor adjoining are many engravings and other works of art, not catalogued.
In the Canterbury collection, I find that I have overlooked some objects of interest which were placed in the annexe or outer court, as well as some within doors. The Railway works are illustrated by a sample of the permanent way, contributed by Messrs. G. Holmes and Co., and laid down as if for use. Messrs. Ward and Co., brewers, have sent a barrel of their draught beer, from Canterbury malt. Mr. T. L. Wilson sends a sample of cheese manufactured by J. Bernard, on Banks' Peninsula. Mr. John King, of Christchurch, adds to the limited list of Canterbury manufactures by a half-hundredweight of " extra pale" soap made by himself. The celebrated Canterbury boots, which one only hears of at
great exhibitions, I find to be made, some by Mf. & M'Nicol, and some by Mr. .J, Suckling} »»<* t0 ' a J the leaßt they look very well. In another department, Mr. Thomas Ingleson exhibits specimens 4* turning, shewing various kinds of New Zealand woods. Mr. B. Button, painter and grainer, of Christchurch, has in the Canterbury Court a doeen ▼ery admirable specimens of his skill in painting OH board in imitation of woods and marbles. I see no other specimens of this art in the whole Exhibition} and if there were any, they could scarcely he superior to Mr. Button's work. His imitations of marble are so doss that the material is not discovered by passing the finger over them, nor will the nail make an impression on them. The substance can be detected, of course, by sound, but not readily otherwise. Besides, these specimens make a very handsome addition to the Canterbury Court, being arranged as a wainscotting along a wall where they are well displayed. Another class of practical art is illustrated by Mr. W. H. Barnes, founder and mechanical engineer, in the shape of a register stove of his own manufacture, which appeals successfully to the eye of the observer, and no doubt is calculated to do so also to other parts of the body in cold weather.
Mr. Cass has some maps of the province, drawn and lithographed, to exhibit. They are down in the catalogue, but not on the walls. Several of Dr. Haast's contributions are in the same category, and amongst them an interesting " first copy " of Hochstetter's scientific volumes, reporting on the geology of these islands, so far as he explored them. The same is to be said of four designs for public works in Canterbury, chiefly of Lyttelton Harbour, by Mr. G. Aicken, C.E. These will probably all come in within a short time. The Canterbury catalogue closes with Mr. Dobson's narrative of the Railway works, and his descriptions of them and other works which he illustrates in the Exhibition. In reports of this kind a great part of the value of the Exhibition, especially to persons who cannot visit it, will be found. ! Among Hawke's Bay articles, most of which I have already noticed, must not be overlooked some of the true native flax, not Phormium tenax, but the familiar linvnt which supplies the flax of commerce. The plant grows wild all over New Zealand, and in Hawke's Bay it is found in great abundance and some two feet in height, quite available .for use. Mr. John Alexander Smith, of Napier,, has had some experiments made on this natural product of the colonyj and he shows the results here., The plant is very like that of Europe, except that it has a whiteflower ; and there is nothing in the fibre that makes it more difficult to deal with or less available when prepared than its European kinsman, as the samples shown by Mr. Smith go to prove. I understand that experiments on a larger scale will be made by the same gentleman next year. So, if we may not have New Zealand flax in one shape, perhaps we shall in another.
I have to apologise for Baying, in a recent letter, that Taranaki has sent no contributions to the show. On closer enquiry, this assertion turns out to be mistaken. Two ladies of that province furnish specimens of silk produced in Taranaki this spring, with silkworms, eggs, and cocoons. These, which are the only articles of the kind exhibited, I did not see, but I find them in the catalogue.
I should do injustice to Nelson also if the fact were unnoticed that wine produced from the grape grown in that province is exhibited by Mr, G. W* Lightband. Mr. C. Elliott shows samples of cider, and there are a variety of liquors made from different fruits. And, in addition to the multitude of minerals and metals already noticed in this court, are specimens of Nelson lead and silver, prepared and chemically purified, in bar and powder, by Dr. Tatton. The typography of Mr. Elliott's establishment has always been famous; and that gentleman shows as a specimen tlie Zealand Stud Book," and Dr. Haast's report on the province, both of them very creditably executed.
I now pass to the province of Auckland, which occupies that half of the eastern side which lies between the corridor entrance and the south-east angle of the building. The Auckland Court is rather extensive than well furnished. Its raw materials comprise freestone, dressed scoria, copper ore, iron ore, limestone, sandstone, auriferous quartz j some excellent coal from the Waikato, and a still better looking coal from the Bay of Islands. The famous Auckland timber is well represented by some slabs of Kauri, plain, mottled, and waved, with beau-
tiful pieces from the root or lower butt. The slabs are of great size, and one of them, large enough in itself, is but a small sample of the tree it was cut from, which-turned out clean timber 90 feet long and 7 feet thick. There are many specimens of Kauri gum and preparations from it. The woods and minerals of the province are further represented by contributions from the museum, very carefully got together, but not interesting to the million. Sir George Grey supplies a space of some 200 square feet of table and wall with native curiosities, among which are several antique specimens, and some which belong to history, as the signs of subjection by important chiefs, presented to Sir George as the representative of Majesty. His Excellency also presents a collection of ferns, and some remarkable specimens of ancient manuscript, and early black-letter printing.
Among articles of colonial workmanship and manufacture, I note cigars, snuff, mould candles, soap, paper and wax flowers, manufactured silk, and some little oddities with no name. Messrs. Ireland Brothers have made and shown leathers of all descriptions and excellent quality ; and there are specimens of harness made by saddlers of the town from the leather manufactured there. The New Zealander and New Zealand Herald offices contribute specimens of printing ; and a book is shown printed on paper made from New Zealand flax; but where or when the paper was made, or the book printed, I cannot discover. There are some noticeable photographic views of the province; and a wooden picture of a ship in full sail, done in inlaid work. There are also, in another department of art, specimens of the orchilla weed and dye, from the North shore, with sponge from the Mercury Islands. Perhaps the most ambitious contribution in the whole Exhibition comes from the Auckland potteries. Not content with what is not uncommon—field pottery so to speak, including drain and roof tiles, and earthenware pipes—the enterprising Auckland .worker in clays, Dr. Pollen, has executed a quantity of household crockery, flower vases, water jugs, teapots, porcelain butter coolers, fruit stands and plates; and—l speak sober truth— snuffer trays 1 There was once a renowned shoemaker who made a pair of fancy boots in a moment of enthusiasm; but the Auckland potter has given months, I might say years, of enthusiastic labour to his teapots ana snuffer trays; and, after all, he has not made an article, that I could see, standing solidly on its base or rising therefrom with the symmetry of a delft mug. It is only justice to Auckland, however, to say that the clay seems to be of a good quality, well adapted for the finer sorts of earthenware; but flower-stands andfruit dishes are still among those things which it will pay the colony better to import than to manufacture. In cabinet work, there is a book-case of Kauri timber, which is exceedingly well made and tastefully designed; and there are 100-tablea, cabinets, and book-cases of various woods, displaying a good deal more fancy
than taste. A steam saw and moulding company exhibit sashes, doors, and mouldings, which do them credit; and last among the manufactures, I may mention baskets of native workmanship, and canoe-
head carvings, which ate the extremes of the Maori uft'fc and the Maori dulce in art. The Auckland Court is exhausted when the curiosities have been enumerated. A Mr. Fairs rivals the Governor in this department, and outdoes His Excellency in every just judge's opinion by showing Oliver Cromwell's watch. Far bo it from me to say that the Great Protector never wore a watch or even this very watch. But if so, Mr. Fairs must be a hardy man to boast of what has been another man's property, without saying how he came possessed of it. The watch is said to be one of the first of English manufacture, and to have a sketch of the battle of Worcester on its dial. The last wonderful testimony to its' genuineness, taken in connection with Oliver Cromwell, irresistibly suggests Wardour street as the birthplace of the watch,
The Otago contributions are so numerous as to be in all parts of the building not otherwise specially occupied. I am conscious of inability to do anything like justice to this province, which for every reason is represented here, not only by a greater number, but by a greater variety of interesting objects than any other province. The visitor cannot but acknowledge how much more attractive the Otago Courts are than any other; and from whatever province he comes he can admire without jealousy. This is a New Zealand Exhibition : but Otago has given it houseroom and a site, and has paid a great part of every expense connected with it. Whatever town might have been chosen as the site, the province belonging to it must have possessed the greatest advantages in the exhibition of its resources; and there would be more to complain of if these advantages had been neglected, than there is that they have been largely turned to use in the case of Otago. The Exhibition is for the credit of New Zealand; and it is well for the other provinces that Otago has theiresources with which to set off, in the eyes of strangers, the products and manufactures which belong not only to itself but in as great a degree to the colony at large.
The most striking objects in the Otago Courts, as in that of Canterbury, are the scientific contributions. These provinces owe much to Drs. Hector and Haast for having displayed so fully their natural resources. In the case of Dr. Hector, the thanks of his province have to be given for the strenuous exertions which he has made to bring the Exhibition into a state of completeness as regards not only his own but every other department. In the most prominent place, in the central Court of the building, is reared an obelisk, whose golden exterior suggests its design, which is to represent the total amount of gold that has, up to this time, been produced in the province. It stands about fifteen feet high, on a square base measuring about four feet each way. The amount produced is measured with sufficient accuracy by the amount exported, the total of which, since the outbreak of the diggings in Gabriel's Gully, in July, 1861, is above one million six hundred thousand ounces. The exports were, year by year, as follows:— ozs. 1861 187,695 1862 ... 397,602 1863 580,233 1864 455,927
j Total 1,621,457 or rather more than 60 tons, valued at nearly £6,380,000, from the export duty on which the Government has derived a revenue in three years and a half of about £200,000. In another part'of the building the gold production is further illustrated by specimens of the ' washdirt,' or stuff in which the gold is actually found, from each of the fields, with geological specimens of each district. The only conclusion that can be drawn from the examination as to the construction of these fields is, that two agencies, acting one after the . other, liave been, .required to form the auriferous beds. First, the action-oi-the ocean .or large inland _l§kej to separate the gold frOrii its" parent bed-secondly,"rivers and rapid torrents; to scatter the gold with the rest of the debris into the position where it is now found. Still more interesting illustrations of the gold-fields are to be found in certain large and yet minute models of workings, as they at present exist, made by miners on the spot. The principal one of them represents the Alexandra township, on the Manuherikia, with the adjacent diggings, and is an admirable and most interesting piece of work. The implements and machinery used in gold digging are exhibited in large numbers ; but I must leave it to the official reports to say which of these are deserving of notice.
Dr. Hector has placed in the Exhibition all the material results of his arduous and prolonged labours within the province as a scientific explorer. In his proper department, geology, he has managed to fill more cases than I care to count with specimens of the rocks of the province. They are not yet all classed and named ; but the general results are given to the observer by means of a capital map constructed under his direction, in which not only the geology of the province is pourtrayed, but the topography, respecting which Dr. Hector has made many valuable discoveries, is laid down better than in any other map yet produced. ' And tliesubjeetis further illustrated by a double sectional sketch taken across the island, one part showing the outline of the hills as they have been sketched from the surface; while the counterpart exhibits the nature and direction of the strata of which they are respectively composed. On a long bench beneath the diagram, the rocks themselves are represented in order by means of specimens.
To show what is done in this department, I quote a few figures. The total number of objects exhibited under separate labels is:— Bocks, Minerals, and Fossils ... 3,768 Birds, Fishes, &c 240 Wood, &c. ... 100 Dried Plants, Species ... ... 950 Fibrous Materials JSO Miscellaneous objects 100 With innumerable maps, plans, sections, and sketches. It is right to mention that Mr. T. R. Hackett, late of Nelson, has been acting as assistant surveyor to Dr. Hector; and I see the name of John Buchanan mentioned as draughtsman and botanical collector. I record the last name as one worthy of praise, for this gentleman has rendered invaluable services to botany by his power of drawing and colouring on the spot with perfect faithfulness plants found in places almost inaccessible, whence they could not be removed with any hope of preserving them. I have seen photographs from Mr. Buchanan's drawings of fossils and plants, which the observer would have declared had been taken from the objects themselves, had no intimation been given to the contrary. This gift of draughtsmanship has been made great use of in transmitting scientific information to other countries. The geological cases contain complete collections of the economic mineralogy and simple minerals of Otago, of intrinsic value, or likely to be of use in the arts: and a series of chemical products manufactured in the laboratory of the survey from Otago minerals.
The wood! is very interesting. The timber part is cut and polished, and with each is given a specimen of the bark, foliage, flower and fruit of the tree, if any, with the scientific, native, and common names.
The land and sea birds of Otago here exhibited form a collection almost if not quite completeThere are 190 specimen, comprising 130 species, of which 20 were presented by Mr. A. W.Lea, a gentle-
lately well to a few in this island as a devoted ornithologist; and the remainder are of Dr. Hector's own providing. The fishes are a small collection, not pretending to completeness, but rather as a specimen of how fishes of some size may bo preserved. Those that are there now may indeed be recognized; but they have lost much of their identity in the process of preservation. There is a very interesting case of the fossil and recent shells of Otago, said to be complete. Among them are two of the very rare Imperator Imperialis, brought by Dr. Hector from Dusky Bay, where they were found and removed from the under surface of a submerged rock at low water. The ferns, mosses, seaweeds, and plants of the province form a very large collection. A herbarium is arranged to illustrate Dr. Hooker's recently published Hand-book of the New Zealand Flora.
In this department there are some curiosities. A portion of the stump of a totara tree is shown, brought from Dusky Bay, cut down by Captain Cooks party, and prepared for fixing bis astronomical instruments, exactly 90 years ago. There are specimens of the Mamuku, or edible fern tree of the West Coast. And there is an immense jind perfectly eggshaped boulder of Syenite, from the Bluff, which is made to stand at the fossil feet of a gigantic Moa, as if the skeleton bird had dropped there an egg as fossil as itself. I go back to the Central Court, where are exhibited by the Banks samples of gold from every where—as it is brought to them by the diggers, and as it is shipped by them to Europe and elsewhere in the ingot of commerce. Among them all the most noticeable is the bright, pure dust from Moeraki beach, which is said to be worth, as it is, £4 4s the ounce.
Leaving the raw material, the eye is struck by the lantern of the Cape Saunders lighthouse, which was made in England to the order of Alan Stephenson, the famous Engineer of the Northern Light Company. The lantern exhibits in perfection the famous optical apparatus of Messrs Chance of Birmingham, and contains a reflecting arrangement to throw the light off the land and out to sea, which is of new design. This light, and others upon the coast of Otago and Southland, have been under the care of Mr. Balfour, Marine Engineer of the province, who is, not only a relative but also a pupil and apt follower of Alan Stephenson. The great light on Dog Island, which is to be a first-class revolving light, on a tower 80 feet high, is perhaps the very finest and most expensive in all the Southern seas. It will be lighted about the first of April. Tairoa Head light, a red one of the third order, is already in operation ; and Cape Saunders, whose lantern of the first order is now exhibited, will have to wait a while till more money is forthcoming. All these lights are now under the Marine Board of the colony, but were originally undertaken by the province.
The central court is full of beautiful gold and sliversmiths' work. The most showy of thts is not the most interesting ; and I should feel inclined to give the palm for characteristic interest to certain goldsmiths and jewellers up at the Dunstan, Messrs. Goodwin and Barlow, who exhibit ornaments of all kinds, in various styles and every stage of manufacture, from bar gold to a fifty guinea bracelet. Messrs. Salomon and Meyer of Dunedin are the exhibitors who have most to show for themselves; but their cases, however beautiful, are not more interesting than a well arranged shop front. I pass from them with pleasure to the large collection of saddlery and harness, all of : which is very good, while a fair share owes its origin entirely to colonial resources, being made of leather tanned in the Caversham works, near Dunedin.
I find it perfectly impossible to do justice to the .CHagO.. collection by any description which shall go into detail; and I close this letter by a notice only of two great wonders of nature and art iii the Exhibition, as to which I believe New Zealand can claim an absolute pre-eminence. The first wonder is that of nature, and' consists of a group of spherical boulders brought from the beach at Moeraki, where they are found in great numbers, varying in size from a few inches to ninefeet in diameter, and as perfectly spherical as the world itself or a school" boy's marble. What they are seems not to be exactly known; but among the specimens exhibited is one broken into segments, each of which is symmetrical with the rest, and ends in a crystalline form in the centre of the boulder, the outside being divided like a pumpkin.
The other wonder is that of art, and consists in a perpetual motion clock, in which there is no deception. The workmanship and the secret of the invention both belong to a Mr. Beverly, a watchmaker, long resident in Dunedin, who lias before now invented some excellent apparatus of a similar character. The clock has nothing recondite about its appearance; extreme simplicity indeed is its characteristic. An oblong case, the upper half of which is glazed and the lower boxed in, stands on end, and supports the works within it; and there is no apparent opening. A dial of the ordinary kind, a singular looking but not novel' torsion' pendulum, three little weights, balancing one another on what seems an endless chain passing over two wheels, and a single upright attached by way of support, and passing down into the boxed part of the case below these are all the parts visible. The inventor does not make a mystery of the principle; he has had a clock openly going in his house for the last 15 months without being touched, and there seems no reason why it should not continue to go as long as the material may wear. The principle is so simple as to carry conviction of its truth at once. The alterations in temperature of the atmosphere are applied to create motion, and the motion so created is applied to work always in- the same direction, winding up the weight, whose gravitation keeps the clock going. The principle is simple, but the application of it is the difficulty. Mr. Beverly has a right to claim the whole merit of applying a novel force, even though it should turn out, which does not appear likely, that the idea of utilizing the natural alternations of temperature, in expanding and contracting fluids, had occurred -to some one before. I have not yet met any person with pretensions to scientific acquirements who questions the propriety of calling Mr. Beverley's invention one of perpetual motion. This alone is worth a long journey to see.
The English and Indian goods are now landing in the Ramsay, and to those who like curiosities the Exhibition will soon present fresh attractions; besides, almost every day brings in fresh articles of interest from different places in the colony.
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THE NEW ZEALAND EXHIBITION., Lyttelton Times, Volume XXIII, Issue 1353, 31 January 1865
THE NEW ZEALAND EXHIBITION. Lyttelton Times, Volume XXIII, Issue 1353, 31 January 1865
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