This wonderful settee is one of the larger items in the Museum collection, currently in safe storage at the Airforce Museum at Wigram. In January 1888, the May Queen, laden with 1,200 tons of cargo, approached the Lyttelton Heads. A strong squall carried the vessel onto the rocks, where she became lodged as the tide went down, despite efforts by a tug from Port to free her. Her hull was penetrated, however, boats from the port were able to offload about 600 tonnes of cargo, including this settee and a mahogany sideboard, which later came into the Museum’s possession. The wreck of the May Queen still lies buried in sand and silt at a depth of about seven metres, a silent testament to the dangers of seafaring.
Settee, ex May Queen, wrecked Camp Bay, 1888. One time possessed by Captain Albert Anderson and later given to Baden Norris Sr. (red velvet squab), date unknown (1880’s?). Te Ūaka The Lyttelton Museum ref 42.1