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Staff make choice picks

Choice: Staff Picks from the Collection is an eclectic mixture of objects plucked out from the Collection store.

Aratoi has more than 3000 objects, works of art, taonga and clothing behind the scenes that we treasure and look after.

For this unusual exhibition, staff were asked to look around the collection and find objects that appealed to them.

Becky Bateman, comms and programmes manager, picked out a Hallensteins Delivery Boy model and clothes brushes.

“One of my first jobs was being a Saturday girl in a women’s clothes shop. I would be stuck at the fitting rooms all day, hanging and rehanging clothes and brushing garments to put back on the shop floor,” Becky explained.

“I had imagined shop life to be a bit more glamorous than it actually was. I had noticed these objects in the collection – this Hallensteins boy, and brushes – and daydreamed about how it would have been like working in an old-fashioned shop rather than the one I had worked in as a teen!”

This jovial Hallensteins Delivery Boy, which is made from papier mâché with an overlay of plaster, is hand painted and was a part of the shop fit-out.

The boy is holding a suitcase with HB on the side, and an overcoat over the other arm, wearing a dapper red and white striped suit and a jaunty cap initialled with ‘HB’.

Tiny details give away the fact the model was painted by hand.

Look carefully at the eyes, the eyebrows and the details on the jacket cuffs.

There are two Hallensteins boys in the collection, probably made to be on either side of the shop’s front doors.

Clothes brushes were essential in keeping clothes looking their best.

It is the perfect tool for getting rid of lint, hair, and other debris, ideal for a working clothes shop to keep clothes looking neat and ready for sale.

“I find these brushes fascinating,” Becky laughs, “I wish I had a couple of them at my house on hand for accidental washed tissue emergencies.”

Alongside the Hallenstein Boy Model, there are a varied assortment of objects on show in the exhibition including a 1940s microphone, a model of the SS Wairarapa, a stolen bell and a glove-making kit.

Choice: Staff Picks from the Collection is showing until February 2024.

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