Treaty of Waitangi proclamation of sovereignty sold at auction for $30,000

3:05 pm on 26 June 2019

A rare document believed to be the only remaining printed proof copy of Governor William Hobson's original Treaty of Waitangi proclamation of sovereignty has sold at auction for $30,000.

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The single-page artefact was sold to a private collector at the Auckland auction house Art+Object today.

It was one of hundreds of items on sale as part of the Christopher Parr collection, described as one of New Zealand's finest print collections from the early to mid 1800s.

The collection includes hundreds of books, newspapers, and letters that Mr Parr, who is the grandson of four-time Auckland mayor Sir James Parr, collected over 70 years.

Art+Object book department manager Pam Plumbly said she believed they had the only copy of the original proclamation by William Hobson from 1840, which was printed with incorrectly defined boundaries of the country.

"That same day it was reprinted with the correct latitude, and I don't think there's another copy of that, I couldn't find one anywhere, and I'm presuming that William Colenso, who printed it perhaps destroyed them, but he kept this copy because he was a printer ... so it makes it very rare."

Another rare item is a copy of New Zealand's first newspaper, the New Zealand Gazette.

A number of letters to and books printed by William Colenso - a prominent botanist and New Zealand printer - were also up for auction, including a shopping list in Colenso's handwriting.

There had been a lot of interest from the public about the collection, including New Zealanders based overseas and a number of institutions, Ms Plumbly said.