London, South Kensington
23 September 2010
ILES, Arthur James (1870-1943). Photograph album of New Zealand subjects, including 18 prints of Maori portraits. Thames, Waikato: [c.1890s]. 4° (290 x 235mm). 28 mounted albumen prints, including 18 images of Maoris, 5 of landscapes, 5 of bird colonies, most measuring approx. 200 x 145mm, and 2 loose images, one of birds, the other of a seal colony. (The loose prints creased and dog-eared, one print torn at corner and repaired.) Contemporary green morocco, gilt edges, gilt turn-ins (extremities lightly rubbed, spine faded and worn at tail). Provenance: Sir Walter Buller (name lettered in gilt to upper cover).
All but two of the portraits are of unidentified Maori women, the others being Ta Mehana Peeke, Ngatihakopada Chief, and Tuterei Karewa, Ngatimaru Chief. Iles was the son of hairdresser and photographer James Iles of Oamaru. He moved to Thames in the early 1890s, and specialised in Maori photography. He then worked at the Falk Studios in Sydney, before returning to New Zealand in 1901 and setting up business in Rotorua. He exhibited at the Christchurch International Exhibition 1906/7.
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