A painting of the Tarawera Eruption through the eyes of a survivor will be one of the many items up for auction in a collection of more than 300 rare pieces related to the disaster.
The collection, which has an estimated value of up to $400,000 was the lifetime collection of the late Ron Keam, an academic, a physicist, and a man with a passion for anything geothermal.
His interest was sparked by a trip to Rotorua at age 8.
The Ron Keam Collection included postcards, photo albums, rare books, tourism information from the 1880s, diaries, Māori history books and geology collections.
There are also a number of important paintings by well-known artists who made paintings relating to the area.
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The academic died in February at age 87 and his daughter, Glenda Keam, remembered her father's books, artefacts and paintings wrapped in newspaper.
Ron Keam had lived with her and her husband for the past 24 years and it was then she realised the extent of her father's passion.
Keam said her father would use the art in the collection as data to find out everything he could about the geothermal area, and the rooms in her home were packed to the brim with his collection.
"It's going to be strange to see them go."
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Parting with the collection would be difficult, she said, but she was excited to show people the collection and give it a new home.
The extensive collection was unlike anything Art + Object rare book consultant Pam Plumbly had ever seen.
Plumbly said although the collection range was extensive, it all tied back to either Mt Tarawera, Rotorua or the geothermal area.
In her eyes, it was a priceless collection which was "comprehensive and significant".
Among the lifetime collection of treasures was a painting by Ina Haszard.
Haszard lost most of her family when Mt Tarawera erupted in 1886, burying the famous Pink and White Terraces forever. She was 15.
"I am now the only survivor of the Haszard family of Wairoa," she wrote in a caption accompanying the painting.
"My mother and sister, who were survivors, passed away some years ago. Painful as the subject is to me I have felt it a duty to my native home, New Zealand, to leave a brief record of my experience," it read.
"To live again in memory that terrible drama, for the purpose of creating this picture, has proved a trying ordeal, but I hope my efforts have not been in vain."
The oil canvas painting is valued at up to $20,000.
Artist Charles Blomfield's painting of the Pink and White Terraces before it was destroyed in the 1886 eruption is estimated to be worth up to $32,000.
Keam was an associate professor of physics at the University of Auckland and wrote Tarawera: The Volcanic Eruption of 10 June 1886.
He was an enthusiastic historian with a life-long fascination with geothermal activity and the history associated with Mt Tarawera.
His collection is said to be the most comprehensive and significant collection of its type in the country, with items of interest to many collectors.
The viewing of the Ron Keam Collection opens on December 6 and the auction will be the following week on December 10.
Money made from the auction will go to the Ron Keam estate.
When: December 10, noon
Where: Art + Object, 3 Abbey St, Auckland
What: The Ron Keam Collection. View the catalogue at artandobject.co.nz.