Treasures to captivate for a night
A Marlborough family's 19th-century writing slope, with links to one of the world's literary greats, will be among items an antiques expert will view during an antiques roadshow in Blenheim.
The Curios and Collectables Roadshow, a Marlborough Girls' College fundraiser, takes place on the weekend of March 8 and 9, at the school grounds.
The writing slope, made in Liverpool, has been handed down through the family of Mary Taylor, a lifelong friend of Charlotte Bronte, whose family inspired Bronte's novel Shirley.
Miss Taylor and her brother William Waring Taylor were among Port Nicholson's earliest settlers and the family name lives on in a central Wellington street.
Event organisers Ros Gibson and Jane Vial said the school needed to raise $100,000 to fit out a new five-room visual arts building, which would provide students with a learning area for visual arts, graphic design, painting, sculpture and photography.
The $1.3 million visual arts block, being built this year, will replace a former Delta Camp building that housed military personnel in the Wairau Valley during World War II.
Wellington antiques dealer and former Blenheim man Peter Wedde has been enlisted to appraise some of Marlborough's privately held treasures on the Friday evening. He will provide the audience with the story of each item, its heritage and significance to the region.
On the Saturday, he will appraise other antiques brought in by members of the public, in a format based on the popular British television programme Antiques Roadshow.
"Over time, some fascinating stories have emerged from these events so, who knows, perhaps there's something remarkable waiting to be discovered here in Marlborough," Ms Gibson said.
Organisers were certain Marlborough was home to fascinating antique items with either historical significance or marvellous back-stories.
"Some of these items date back to our settlement days but others may have significance to more contemporary times," Ms Gibson said. "We're looking particularly for items that mean something to Marlborough in some way and we hope we can find people willing to allow others a glimpse of their family treasures for this one night."
Tickets to the roadshow are available from Marlborough Girls' College.
Tickets to the Friday function are $35; Saturday, $5 plus $10 for each item appraised.
Anyone with items for the roadshow can contact Jane Vial on (03) 578 9761 or Ros Gibson on (03) 578 9711.
The Marlborough Express