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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • J Davidson collection no. 3(319)

    Split cane circular basket
    Bark painting 'Macassan praus' by Birrikidji Gumana, Yirrkala, 1966
    Painting depicts an abstract design with flying foxes
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Fossil Island, Eaglehawk Neck, Tas
    Wallaringa Mansions, Neutral Bay, Sydney, NSW
    The Bathing Beach, Collaroy, NSW
  • Dulcie Greeno collection no. 1(2)

    Shell necklace with pink button and opalescent green maireener feature shells, by Dulcie Greeno
    Shell necklace with opalescent green maireener and black cat's teeth feature shells, by Dulcie Greeno

    This collection consists of one necklace comprised of a strand of opalescent green maireener (rainbow kelp) shells, brown rice shells and black cats' teeth; and one necklace comprised of a strand of opalescent blue/green maireeners, brown and white rice shells and pink button shells. The necklaces were made by Dulcie Greeno, an elder of the Tasmanian Aboriginal community. The knowledge and skills of shell stringing was passed down through generations of her family - her grandmother and Aunties also made necklaces - and she is one of two elders regarded as senior custodians of the most significant cultural tradition of Palawa women.

    Dating back at least 2,600 years, necklace-making is one of the few Palawa traditions that has remained intact and has continued without interruption since before European settlement. Maireener necklaces were made as an adornment for ceremonies, as gifts, and as objects to be traded with other sea and land peoples for ochre and stone tools. After European settlement, they were also sold or exchanged for food, clothing and other supplies. Settlement influenced necklace-making itself, as the new tools and materials the women adapted into their practice also enabled the inclusion of new shells into their designs.

    The connection of maireeners with the distinct culture and story of the Palawa people and with the Tasmanian natural environment have conferred them iconic status in the wider Tasmanian and Australian community. As objects and a practice the necklaces in this collection represent a rich expression of contemporary Palawa women's identity, heritage and creativity, and both the maintenance and ongoing development of cultural traditions.

  • Frank Arthur collection(2)

    Sterling silver helmet trophy awarded to Australian speedway star Frank Arthur 1928
    Golden Gauntlet awarded to Australian speedway star Frank Arthur 1928

    The Frank Arthur Collection consists of one sterling silver helmet trophy and one golden gauntlet trophy, both were won in the British speedway season of 1927-28.

    Frank Arthur's international racing debut in England in 1927 saw him winning many trophies. From the following year Arthur started promoting other riders. His company Empire Speedways Pty Ltd quickly became one of the most successful in Australia. Arthur's involvement in speedway lasted over forty years and gave him the nickname 'Mr Speedway'.

  • National Sports Information Centre collection(37)

    Four women swimmers
    Black and white photograph of Wally Meagher, Captain of the Waratahs Rugby Union Team, 1928
    Black and white photograph of US swimmer Olga Dorfner
    Black and white photograph of Randwick District Rugby Union Football Club, 1st Grade, 1923
  • American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land (AASEAL) collection(218)

    The  North-east wind
    Cylindrical fibre basket
    Weapon - Spearthrower
    Weapon - Spearthrower
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Handwritten recipe for making soup
    Two Christmas/NewYear greeting cards for 1917 with a verse written by Frances Lilian Anderson
    Mauve satin covered ladies right shoe
    Frangaria Vesca

    The Springfield Collection comprises about 1550 artefacts from Springfield station, south of Goulburn. It includes colonial era costume, a bushranger medal, surveying instruments, a late-19th century landau, firearms and edged weapons, wool samples and Joseph Foveaux's pocket watch and bible. The objects are complemented by over 400 photographs. This diverse collection reflects the growth and economic success of the property, responses to changes in the wool market and the daily lives of the people who have lived on Springfield.

    Springfield has grown from a 518-hectare land grant given to William Pitt Faithfull in 1828 to the current 3183 hectares with ownership remaining in the one family. William Pitt Faithfull established the Springfield Merino Stud in 1838 with ten rams selected from the Macarthur Camden Park stud. The stud evolved slowly over the years until the early 1950s when, under the management of Jim Maple-Brown, a scientific approach to wool-growing was adopted and the stud's name was changed to Fonthill to reflect this.

  • Bob Marshall collection no. 1(10)

    Enfield 2-Band .577 percussion cavalry carbine
    Document - 'Police Station Binalong / 16th August 1910 / Rough sketch of the death and depredations of John / Gilbert, Bush-ranger, by H. Pasley'
    Document - 'Particulars of Police Killed and Wounded by Bushrangers 1862 to 1868'
    Calisher & Terry 30 Bore Capping Breech Loading Carbine

    The Bob Marshall (Part One) Collection comprises a Miner's pistol, an Enfield Cavalry percussion carbine, a Calisher & Terry percussion carbine and three sets of handcuffs. None of these objects has a known history but each is representative of general law-and-order issues in colonial Australia, particularly the role of police and issues associated with personal self-defence.

    The institutions of law and order established in Australia after 1788 reflected those of Britain and Ireland. A diversity of police forces were developed to meet specific needs but, at times, appeared powerless to control the excesses of convict bolters and bushrangers. Centralisation and re-arming of police forces in the 1850s and 1860s, draconian legislation, high rewards, secret police and Aboriginal trackers were all employed in the fight against bushranging. The weapons are from a time when controls on the possession and use of firearms were less restrictive than they are today. Issues associated with the control of firearms have been hotly debated nationally for many years, with successive Australian governments moving steadily toward increasing restrictions on their availability and use.