Missing painting search

Marie Vincent is hopeful the beloved missing Barbary Ape painting will be returned.
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Ashburton octogenarian Marie Vincent is missing a beloved painting.

And she wants it back.

The watercolour, a precious gift, is of a Barbary Ape and was among the belongings of Marie and her partner, Ted Allen, when they moved from their home at Boundary Road, to Ashburton in June this year.

The Barbary Ape works, prior to restoration.

The restored painting measures just short of 90cm by 70cm and was in wood and gold trim frame.

It has a handwritten inscription on the back written in pencil saying ‘‘Given by H.M. Queen Victoria on her 35th Birthday to Edwyn Temple, of the 55th Westmoreland Foot Regiment’’.

Captain Edwyn Temple, who lived from 1835-1921, was an avid artist who arrived in New Zealand in 1879 after serving with the 55th Regiment of Foot in India during the Mutiny and in the Crimea.

He lived in Christchurch for two years and was founding member and first secretary of the Canterbury Society of Arts, where he held three exhibitions in 1882, 1884 and 1886.

The Temple family then moved to Geraldine. Descendants still live in the area.

Marie has filed a report with the police, who have made enquiries but so far they have had no luck. Now Marie would now like the community’s help to keep an eye out for the piece so it can be returned.

Anyone with information is asked to call Police via their 105 number quoting file number 221017/6604.