This impressive oil painting was described as 'Whanganui River Drop Scene' on TradeMe. I had to see off a couple of other bidders, with the auction continually auto-extending as the particularly keen 'HistoryBoy' tried to fend off my auto-bids. I was a bit worried he might beat me, having checked his many previous buys which almost all related to the history of the Whanganui River. Being Whanganui born and bred, I felt particularly drawn to this painting. Now it is safely home and hanging, I couldn't be more pleased with my purchase. On the back there is the top half of the framer's label - the name but not the location. A little research revealed it was framed in Wellington.
They were there in May, 1909 when this advertisement was placed. It makes me wonder who painted my treasure, who it was framed for and where it has lived before.
The Drop Scene near Pipiriki on the Whanganui River became known as an iconic beauty spot in the early 20th century. A paddle steamer took tourists up the river to enjoy the ‘Rhine of New Zealand’. The name 'Drop Scene' was given to the view because it looked like a painted theatrical landscape, although there was an existing Māori name, Aratira.