Charles Heaphy. Neche Cove, Nengone Loyalty Islands. Early 1850s. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland City Libraries

Charles Heaphy. Neche Cove, Nengone Loyalty Islands. Early 1850s. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland City Libraries

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Charles Heaphy. Neche Cove, Nengone Loyalty Islands. Early 1850s. Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland City Libraries

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Neche Cove, Nengone, Loyalty Islands. (Pen and wash drawing)

Author: Charles Heaphy
Ref No: 765-1
Date Added: 1998
Date Created: Early 1850s

Formerly known as Nengone, Maré is a small island about one hundred kilometres northeast of Noumea with a population of around 6,900 people. It is part of the Loyalty Islands archipelago, which was annexed by France in 1864 and is now included in the French territory of New Caledonia.

In September 1854, after his appointment as Governor of Cape Colony, Grey donated a large collection of drawings and paintings of New Zealand and the Pacific islands to the British Museum. They included ink and wash sketches of Netche Cove and its inhabitants by the New Zealand-based artist Charles Heaphy. Although these sketches are not dated, a reference in one of Heaphy’s captions to the ‘residence of the Rev. Mr. Nihill’ at Netche indicates that they could not have been drawn before June 1852.

Grey held on to a small number of paintings and drawings and took them with him to Cape Town. Among them was the Heaphy sketch shown here. It was returned to Auckland by the National Library of South Africa in 1998.

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