1. White rata. 2.Climbing rata. 3.Southern rata.

This item comes from Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and is part of their collection Te Papa Collections Online
Please view the item on their site for the definitive information on how it can be used.

This item is an image. It was created by

on or around the date 1875.

This is the best description of this item that we could find:

In 1889 Sarah Featon and her husband Edward Featon published The Art Album of New Zealand Flora, in which they sought to dispute the ‘mistaken notion that New Zealand is peculiarly destitute of native flowers’. While the title emphasises the artistic nature of their enterprise, in the preface they describe the choice they made between selecting a handful of the ‘best and most showy representatives of indigenous flowers’ and publishing them in a ‘haphazard manner, with just a soupcon of descriptive matter to serve as a garnish’ or to ‘accept the responsibility of putting forth a publication of a popular character based on scientific and systematic principles’. They chose the latter path, ensuring that the album had both popular appeal while being firmly grounded in solid science. This was achieved both through Sarah’s illustrations and Edward’s lively text. Based in Gisborne, Sarah’s drawings were made from specimens sourced far and wide (many of which were collected by women who were acknowledged in the final text). Their project was supported by prominent early settler and expert on botany, William Colenso as well as Thomas Kirk. The accompanying text drew on Hooker’s Flora for the botanical classification, accentuated by Edward’s enthusiastic and occasionally verbose information about potential uses of the plant (or its wood) as well as indigenous knowledge. For example, in the description of the Pohutukawa, he writes ‘the juice of the inner bark is said to possess a medicinal virtue, and the Maoris are accustomed to use it to allay inflammation’. The general nature of the Art Album appealed to reviewers and the public alike, and the publication was deemed likely to be a ‘most valuable acquisition to any art collection, library, or drawing room’. It was praised as a ‘great colonial work of art’. One reviewer expressed ‘surprise that such an artistic, correct, and beautiful work should have been wholly produced in New Zealand’. Indeed, it was so prized that a copy, enclosed in a casket of New Zealand wood, was gifted to Queen Victoria for her Diamond Jubilee in 1897. The Featons collaborated with the Wellington firm Bock & Cousins to publish the first fully coloured art book in New Zealand, using the relatively new medium of chromolithography, which almost bankrupted the firm. The transition from watercolour to colour lithograph involved compromise, and the result in many of Featon’s works is an occasionally garish rendering of her exquisite watercolours. 134 of Sarah Featon’s original watercolours for the Art Album of New Zealand Flora were purchased for the Dominion Museum in 1919. At that time, Featon was widowed and desperately short of funds. The £150 she was eventually reimbursed for her collection likely only went a short way to ease the future finances of her family. The Art Album comprised 40 colour plates, including a magnificent frontispiece. An intended second volume was never published. Dr Rebecca Rice, March 2019 References: Edward and Sarah Featon, Art Album of New Zealand Flora, Wellington: Bock and Cousins, 1888. Bee Dawson, Lady painters: the flower painters of early New Zealand, Auckland: Penguin Books, 1999. Newspaper reviews: ‘Art Album of New Zealand Flora’, Otago Daily Times, supplement, 18 February 1890, p. 2. New Zealand Times, 7 December 1887, p. 4 ‘Art album of New Zealand flora’, The Observer, 18 May 1889, p. 4.


What is the copyright status of this item?


Share, Modify, Use commercially

See below for specifics about how you may use this item.

More Information

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa has this to say about the rights status of this item

No Known Copyright Restrictions

More Information

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa has this to say about the rights status of this item

No Known Copyright Restrictions

Share, Modify, Use commercially

See below for specifics about how you may use this item.

More Information

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa has this to say about the rights status of this item

No Known Copyright Restrictions

More Information

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa has this to say about the rights status of this item

No Known Copyright Restrictions

What can I do with this item?


You must always check with Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa to confirm the specific terms of use, but this is our understanding:

Non-infringing use

NZ Copyright law does not prevent every use of a copyright work. You should consider what you can and cannot do with a copyright work.

Share it

This item is suitable for copying and sharing with others, without further permission.

Modify it

This item is suitable for modifying, remixing and building upon, without further permission.

Use it commercially

This item is suitable for commercial use, without further permission.

What can I do with this item?


You must always check with Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa to confirm the specific terms of use, but this is our understanding:

Non-infringing use

NZ Copyright law does not prevent every use of a copyright work. You should consider what you can and cannot do with a copyright work.

This item is suitable for copying and sharing with others, without further permission.

Modify it

This item is suitable for modifying, remixing and building upon, without further permission.

Use it commercially

This item is suitable for commercial use, without further permission.