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Not just bits of cloth, Jennifer Shennan

New Zealand’s Historic Samplers – Our Stitched Stories
Vivien Caughley
David Bateman, $50.00
ISBN 9781869538668

Vivien Caughley’s opening definition of a sampler is “an embroidered cloth which records a stitched pattern, often the alphabet and numerals, sometimes pictures, and stitch techniques … They often commemorate events personal and national.” Through the 160 following pages, we learn much from the intriguing strands of story that Caughley draws from her selection of “self-expression with needle and thread” found in national, regional and private collections throughout the country. We readily concur with her closing ascription of samplers, not as “just bits of cloth” but as “another way history can be studied and illustrated”.

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Posted in Art, Non-fiction and Review

Those are pearls that were his eyes, Lindsay Missen

Fingers: Jewellery for Aotearoa New Zealand: 40 Years of Fingers Jewellery Gallery
Damian Skinner and Finn McCahon-Jones
David Bateman, $60.00,
ISBN 9781869538620

Place and Adornment: A History of Contemporary Jewellery in Australia and New Zealand
Damian Skinner and Kevin Murray
David Bateman, $70.00,
ISBN 9781869538200

If you have an interest in New Zealand craft jewellery, it’s very likely you’ll enjoy Fingers: Jewellery for Aotearoa New Zealand: 40 Years of Fingers Jewellery Gallery. The layout is a scrapbookish mélange of photos of work, reproductions of associated print design, and numerous group shots of the principal craftspeople involved. If you’re old enough to recall the four decades covered, here is a treasure trove of illustrative material to be searched through and remembered.

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Unicorn in the cabbage patch, Desmond Bovey

Aesop’s Kiwi Fables: Paintings  Ray Ching David Bateman, $50.00, ISBN 9781869538453 I spotted Ray Ching’s new book, Aesop’s Kiwi Fables, in our local post office-cum-bookstore. I stopped buying picture books some time ago; they have become so glossily tempting that

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Eminent people and unmade beds, Ann Beaglehole

My Life in Two Halves: A Memoir  Betty Gilderdale David Bateman, $30.00, ISBN 978186953832  Before I Forget Jacqueline Fahey Auckland University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781869405816 The Lost Woman Sydney Smith Text, $40.00, ISBN 9781921922480 Freud, who supposedly said that he

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Posted in Autobiography, Non-fiction and Review

Glamorous facelift, Stella Ramage

Two Hundred and Forty Years of New Zealand Painting Gil Docking (with additions covering 1970-1990 by Michael Dunn and 1990-2010 by Edward Hanfling) David Bateman, $100.00, ISBN 9781869538040 Publishers presumably ask themselves some questions before undertaking a new book. What

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Posted in Art, History, Non-fiction and Review

What’s been lost, Louise O’Brien

The Silence Beyond: Selected Writings Michael King (introduction by Rachael King) Penguin, $42.00, ISBN 9780143565567   The Passionless People Revisited Gordon McLauchlan David Bateman, $30.00, ISBN 9781869537906   The Silence Beyond is a new and posthumous selection of rare and

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Posted in History, Non-fiction and Review

Minding the gap, Tom Brooking

People, People, People: A Brief History of New Zealand Stevan Eldred-Grigg David Bateman, $24.95, ISBN 9781869538132 In 1980 Stevan Eldred-Grigg wrote a provocative study of the great estate owners of the South Island which proved beyond any semblance of doubt

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Like granny used to, Tony Simpson

New Zealand Food and Cookery   David Burton David Bateman, $59.99, ISBN 9781860537289 Over the last two or three years it has been almost impossible to turn on the television in the early evening or to go into a bookshop

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Maori territory, Mark Derby

Nga Tama Toa: The Price of Citizenship: C Company 28 (Maori) Battalion 1939-1945 Monty Soutar David Bateman, $69.99, ISBN 9781869535933 The East Coast leader Apirana Ngata, for all his political and rhetorical gifts and his unquestioned public-spiritedness, could evidently be

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Posted in History, Maori, Non-fiction, Review and War

Dividing space, Hamish Clayton

Art Icons of New Zealand: Lines in the Sand  Oliver Stead David Bateman, $49.99, ISBN 9781869536374 Whenever a new book offering another survey of local art appears a number of logical questions present themselves. Will any previously overlooked artists be

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