RC2009/2/19 - 02 Mar 1898

2 March 1898

[] Partridge
Grafton Road

Dear Sir,

I regret to notice in the papers the destruction by fire of [] block in Queen St and which includes your business premises. I hope you are fully covered by insurance. Had it been your private residence and your valuable pictures destroyed it would have been a public calamity.

I have seen nowhere else such a collection which includes the portraits of many noted Chiefs and warriors, now gone to their happy hunting grounds. The painter is a true artist and had his heart in his work and painted Maori character to the life.

You showed me a photo of the cup sent by the Queen to Tamati Waka and we had some conversation on the subject of the inscription thereon. Sir George Grey brought out the cup for presentation and was responsible for the bad Maori on the last line of the inscription (na Tamati Waka Nene), the na renders the whole inscription absurd. Sir George posed as a Maori scholar but his knowledge of the language was very superficial. In this case, as in many others, he got credit to which he was not entitled.

Yours very truly,
John Webster

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