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Object Detail

Hand tinted ambrotype portrait of Mary Hood (nee Lye), wife of Archibald Hood. Mary is seated and is wearing a formal dress. An earring, a brooch at her neck, a necklace, a belt and a ring on each finger have been hand tinted gold. Her face and hands have been tinted pink. One arm rests on a table beside her, which also holds a book. The table cloth on the table has been tinted green. The image background appears to have been overpainted. The ambrotype has been broken and the lower portion of it has been either replaced upside down or replaced with painted glass. The ambrotype is surrounded by an oval embossed gold metal matt with an embossed metal edge. The matted portrait is housed in a wooden frame instead of a case.

Mary Lye was born in Martock, Somersetshire, England, and was baptised in 1822. She arrived in New Plymouth aboard the 'William Bryan' with her family in 1842. She met her first husband, Peter Facey Hoskin, aboard the 'William Bryan'. They married shortly after. Mary was involved in the running of Hoskin's general store, which sold groceries, haberdashery and fancy goods. The store was sold to H. J. Honeyfield in 1859 and the remainder of the Hoskin family business moved to larger premises in Victoria House. When war broke out in Taranaki in 1860, Mary was one of the few women to refuse to be evacuated with other women and children to Nelson. Victoria House was comandeered for use in the wars. Hoskin died on 22 October 1860 and Mary married Archibald Hood on 30 January 1862. She continued to contribute to the running of Victoria House, despite the death of Hoskin and the store coming to be known as 'Mr Hood's store' by 1864. Despite having 10 children to Hoskin and two with Hood, she successfully negotiated the demands of both the business and family life. She died in 1902.
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