Home » Product » Historical Fun Map of New Zealand 1940

Historical Fun Map of New Zealand 1940

  • Author: PATERSON, Alan Stuart
  • Publisher: A.H & A.W. Reed, Dunedin & Wellington
  • Date: 1940
  • Dimensions: Map sheet: 25.5 x 38 cms


Rare & amusing “Historical Fun Map of New Zealand” [1940] commemorating the Centenary of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi

About this piece:

Upper Border Title: Historical Fun Map of New Zealand

Cartouche Title: History at a Glance / Historical Map of New Zealand Arranged with all care but no sense of responsibility for easy reference. Compiled & Drawn by A S Paterson / Published by A H & A W Reed./ Dunedin. Wellington.

Colour-printed map. Traces of old folds with very slightest of separations at ends of central horizontal fold. Some light foxing & spotting with a couple of areas of slightly more visible paper toning in upper & lower blank margins & border and along sheet edges. Printed letterpress to verso, with explanatory numbered key to all of the events portrayed in the pictorial vignettes on map. Central address panel on verso with illustrated black & white reproduction of recto map cartouche. The sheet designed to be folded in half and then into three and sent through the post. Unposted. With all an attractive example.

Rare and entertaining pictorial map of New Zealand published in 1940 to mark the Centenary of the Treaty of Waitangi, the primary foundation document in the political governance of New Zealand and the result of close and detailed negotiations between British colonial administrators and some 540 indigenous Maori chiefs or rangatira.

As the explanatory notes on the back of map highlight (Ref No. 2):

The Treaty of Waitangi is looked upon as the Maori Magna Carta. Sovereignty was ceded to Queen Victoria, and the occupation of their lands guaranteed to the natives; the Crown to have the right of pre-emption of such lands as the Maoris desired to sell. The Treaty was signed by assembled chiefs at Waitangi Bay on the Bay of Islands on 6th February 1840.

The key on the back of the map provides further interesting historical & topographical notes on all fifty two of the map’s attractive vignette illustrations

The map was created and drawn by the renowned Kiwi artist and cartoonist, Alan Stuart Paterson [1902-1968] and follows a very similar style and format to the Haines Advertising Agency’s Fun Map of New Zealand published just a couple of years earlier.

Paterson himself was born in Hawera in January 1902, the nephew of George Butler, New Zealand’s official war artist during the First World War. The family subsequently moved to Wellington where he studied at Clyde Quay School and Wellington College.

In 1924 he spent a year in London studying at the St.Martin’s School of Art. Returning to New Zealand in 1925, he quickly established himself as one of the country’s leading newspaper cartoonists, initially working at the New Zealand Times and then the Dominion, where he continued in post until 1950, excepting a three year break during the Second World War due to redundancy as a result of wartime economy measures at the newspaper.

Heavily influenced by the likes of British cartoonists, Phil May & David Low, amongst a host of popular characters that he created in his cartoons were several cats including tabby Gardiner & black cat, Mrs Mahogany; Honoraria Wraith, his fictious secretary; and a small three year-old lad modelled on his young nephew. However undoubtedly his most enduring creation was Little Eric of Berhampore, short & moustachioed, and always ready to offer his personal opinions on the ways of the World to the much taller, Whitey, his long-suffering old friend.  One of his regular subjects of conversation was the state of New Zealand rugby (and still the case amongst so many Kiwis to this day!)

Paterson married Nancy Marion Whitehead in Wellington in 1936.

In 1950 he took up a position at the Southern Cross newspaper, mouthpiece of the New Zealand Labour Party, but the paper warned its readers not to expect him to be too political.

He moved to Palmerston North in late 1950 where he began working for the County Library Service shortly afterwards. In 1964 he became Curator of the Gisborne Art Gallery & Museum. He died suddenly and unexpectedly in June 1968, survived by his wife and two children.

A longstanding & active member of the Wellington Savage Club for much of his adult life, Paterson was also an accomplished watercolour artist and equally well-known for his fine line drawings of traditional Maori goblins, fairies and indigenous New Zealand flora & fauna.

The map was published by the firm of A H & A W Reed of Dunedin & Wellington.

Examples of the map are very rare. This is the first example that we have ever handled. We have seen only one other example offered on the open market in recent times.

OCLC locates examples at the National Library of New Zealand, University of Auckland, Dunedin Public Library, and University of Otago.