One of the benefits of attending events like AFFHO Congress2015, is the opportunity to view all sort of new products (and some old favourites, too) that are tailored to the needs of that captive conference audience.
At a conference all about family history, heraldry and genealogy you would expect books, companies offering research platforms and services, organisations especially those featuring specific areas of investigation and skills and new software packages.
Congress2015 featured two organisations offering specialist conservation and storage products for old documents and ephemera and they were high on my agenda as “must visits” as I was seeking a more suitable and sustainable storage solution for one particular family heirloom as well as a couple of other antique textile pieces.
This is my Grandmother on her wedding day in July 1926. She married at St Paul’s Church of England in Canterbury, Vic., not far from her home. The veil she wore had traveled a great deal further than the mile or so between her home and that church, for it had come from the UK as one of the treasured items accompanying Lucy Jane Dixon nee Banks when she and her family ventured south.
Whether it had been part of the family collection before Lucy’s own marriage at age 18 in 1857 is unknown but it has seen service on many an occasion since its arrival in Australia. It is Honiton Lace – a large square piece of handmade lace that in the past has been attached to a fine layer of bridal veil tulle to support it.
The veil had formed part of a collection of items Lucy bought firstly to New Zealand and then to Australia where they have remained. There is a family christening gown in the care of my sister and there are a pair of tapestries worked in wool, silk and gold thread in the care of my mother. She also has a school book of Lucy’s dating from her time at Shaw Hill Ladies Boarding school in Lancashire, where she obtained some of her education.
I have the custodianship of the veil and also of a needlework sampler dated in the late 1700’s.
Preservation Australia P/L had just the right presentation box within which the veil will now rest comfortably.