Posts categorized as History

Dick Dell and the fantastic frilled crab

  • Urchin clingfish, Dellichthys morelandi Briggs, 1955, hiding under a sea urchin, Matt's Crack, Poor Knights Islands. Image: Ian Skipworth
  • Richard ‘Dick’ Dell, Director of the National Museum, 1975. Photograph by Trevor Ulyatt. Image: Te Papa (MA_B.13190)
  • Alex Black’s Alert maurea, Maurea alertae (B. Marshall, 1995); holotype of Alertalex blacki Dell, 1956. Collected from the Chatham Rise on 10 February 1954. Found at depths of 280–861 metres. Image: Te Papa
  • Frilled crab, Trichopeltarion fantasticum Richardson & Dell, 1964. The holotype was collected in Palliser Bay in January 1956. Found at depths of 22–750 metres. Image: Te Papa

Richard (Dick) Dell specialised in the study of marine invertebrates, especially molluscs (shells). His interests and expertise also included crustaceans, and one of the more memorable names that he coined was for a spectacular deep water crab. Te Papa turned 150 years old on 8 December 2015. To celebrate 150 years since the opening of… Read more »

Dissent during the First World War: by the numbers

Socialist Cross of Honour no. 5 awarded to J K Worrall, courtesy of Jared Davidson

Guest blogger Jared Davidson asks how historians and others have measured and defined dissent, sedition and conscientious objection to military conscription during the Great War. The new statistics he arrives at will surprise you. Jared opens his blog with the numbers of individuals known to have opposed conscription (and compulsory military training) even before the declaration of war in 1914,… Read more »

Conserving and dressing 18th c. Splendour

  • Here we are carrying out the final fitting of both the dress to unsure that the garment is properly supported but not under any stress. At this point we can also adjust the final height of the ensemble and check the silhouette that has been created. Photo by S. Gatley, copyright Te Papa.
  • The near-finished mount, complete with silk petticoat, jersey top cover and sleeve supports. There are strong small magnets attached to the front which will hold the bodice section in position- These are needed as the dress doesn’t have any buttons or other fastening. The opposing magnets will be placed on the outside of the garment. These should be difficult to see as they will be coloured to match the dress.
  • The torso after it has been padded into the correct size and period shape. There is a cotton tube underskirt to hold out the multiple layers of net underskirts instead of legs! Photo by S. Gatley, copyright Te Papa.
  • The mannequin torso with the bust and waist cut away. A cotton cover is attached to the newly shaped form ready for padding to be stitched into place. Photo by Sam Gatey, copyright Te Papa.

A co-authored post by Anne Peranteau, Textile Conservator and Sam Gatley, Costume Mountmaker Historic dress, historic problems In 1951, Te Papa was given three 18th century dresses, all dating to approximately 1780.   Our work in the textile lab is currently focused on preparing two of these gowns for display in the Splendour module of Nga… Read more »

Pukerua Bay School Museum

A sketch (biro on cardboard) by Isaac in a faux rococo frame (hot glue on plastic).

The Pukerua Bay School Museum is one of Aotearoa New Zealand’s newest museums – the brainchild of three Primary school students: Isaac and Paddy (aged 11) and Aurelia (aged 9). Te Papa Learning Innovation has asked the three founders, with the support of their kaiako (teacher) Cat Lunjevich, to write a post for our Te Papa blog all about… Read more »

Remembering the Evergreen

Photo showing workshop meeting

Most Wellingtonians will remember the Evergreen Coffee House as a popular spot in the buzzing nightlife of the Vivian-Cuba Street quarter – where you could get late night toasted sandwiches and ‘special coffees’ served with whisky from the café’s owner, well-known transgender queen, Chrissy Witoko. The interior walls of the Evergreen were decorated with collages,… Read more »

How to deal with human DNA contamination of your DNA sequencing: an example from a Malawian dance garment.

Dance garment, c. 1900, Malawi (Chewa culture), Photograph by Kate Whitley. Copyright Te Papa MA_I.374711

You’ve probably seen forensic scientists on TV taking swabs and fingerprints from crime scenes. They aren’t wearing labcoats, hairnets and gloves to look cool but to prevent them contaminating their forensic evidence with their own DNA. But how do scientists deal with items that are already contaminated with unwanted human DNA? I recently encountered this… Read more »

Old jersey, new knickers

Housewife’s guide to making and mending, 1940, London, by Hulton Press. Te Papa (RB001288)

Mending is something of a lost art In this day and age – clothes are plentiful and can be bought cheaply. But in England in the 1940s it was an absolute necessity, given that new clothes were limited by the amount of clothing coupons you had. By 1945 an adult was down to 24 coupons… Read more »

Creating something Shakespearean: Raymond Boyce and the Globe hangings

  • adonis hanging
  • boyce_raymond_flash2_0[1]
  • Adonis cartoon
  • Venus cartoon

Do you support hangings? I certainly do if we are discussing the four embroidered wall hangings at Shakespeare’s Globe in London’s Bankside, designed by Wellington artist Raymond Boyce and made by over 400 women from North Shore to Southland in 1991. They are Aotearoa New Zealand’s proud gift to Shakespeare’s and a handsome testament to the important place… Read more »