Family treasures valued at roadshow

ELLE HUNT
Last updated 11:29 18/11/2012
Curiosity Roadshow
KEVIN STENT/Fairfax NZ

TREASURES: Angela Potts of Khandallah with her German Rhineland stoneware vases at the Curiosity Roadshow.

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There was no trash, only treasure - of sentimental value, at least - at the Museum of Wellington City & Sea's third annual Curiosity Roadshow on Saturday.

Billed as the capital's answer to the popular British television programme Antiques Roadshow, the event offered Wellingtonians the chance to learn more about curios passed down through generations.

But, for several present, matters of monetary value were beside the point.

Belmont resident Adam Ben-Dror, 22, presented a single elephant tusk, handed down from him from his great-grandfather, to be evaluated by experts.

The 22kg tusk was classified as ''pre-ban'' ivory, meaning it was harvested before the sale of elephant ivory was banned in 1989.

It was valued at about $7000, though it was the type of item to inspire a bidding war, and could fetch much more at auction.

Adam's mother Liora, who had grown up around the tusk, said she was surprised by the appraisal.

''I've got a new appreciation for it now.

''When you see something in your house, and it's always there... we've never really thought about it before.''

But Adam said he had no intention to sell it as it was part of his family's history.

He received the tusk as a 21st birthday present from his grandfather in Israel, who had in turn received it from his father, who lived in South Africa in the early 1920s.

''They'd had it sitting in the garage since I could remember, for over 30 years, and I always had my eye on it.''

Angela Potts of Khandallah had two of a set of three vases evaluated to learn more about their place in her family's history. She had inherited them from her father's cousin in 1998.

''I've always been interested to know a little bit more about the family history - no point in having it if you don't know something about it.''

Antiques expert Peter Wedde said the vases were of a style favoured in the Westerwald region of the German Rhineland in the 16th and 17th centuries, and would reach up to $1000 as a set of three.

But Mrs Potts said she had no intention to sell.

''The value didn't really matter - it's about knowing where it came from.'

Contact Elle Hunt
Metro and Capital Day reporter
Email: elle.hunt@dompost.co.nz
Twitter: @mlle_elle

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- The Dominion Post

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