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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Professor Peter Spearritt collection no. 2(185)

    Opening of Parliament by Her Majesty The Queen in the Legislative Council Chamber, Adelaide, on Tuesday 23 March 1954
    Glass replica diamond and emerald wattle arrangement brooch
    Welcome to our Royal Visitors 1954
    The Marriage of The Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer, Wednesday 29th July 1981

    The Professor Peter Spearritt collection No. 2 is divided into four categories; British Royal Family memorabilia, Australian Republic Movement material, T-shirts with Indigenous motifs and anti-logging material. The British Royal Family memorabilia category predominantly relates to Queen Elizabeth II's 1954 tour of Australia. The items were specifically collected by the vendor for the 1993 exhibition entitled Australians and the Monarchy. The Australian Republic Movement material was also featured in this exhibition. The Indigenous motifs T-shirts and the anti-logging material were collected for the 1992 exhibition Lie of the Land. Both exhibitions were jointly created by the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney and the National Centre for Australian Studies at Monash University. Professor Spearritt was the head curator of both exhibitions.

  • Thomas Arbuthnot's Shipboard Drawing collection(1)

    Pencil drawing on pale blue paper of shipboard life on the 'Thomas Arbuthnot', 1849

    The Thomas Arbuthnot's Shipboard Drawing collection consists of a pencil drawing on pale blue paper. The handwritten subject title assists in dating the drawing to the 1849-50 voyage of the Thomas Arbuthnot, as a Henry Hughes was a paying passenger on the ship. The Thomas Arbuthnot was one of the twenty ships used in the Irish Famine Orphan migration scheme which operated from 1848 to 1850. The scheme was devised by the Governor of New South Wales (1846-1851), Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy, the Colonial Secretary, Earl Grey, the Emigration Commissioners, the Irish Poor Law Commissioners and the Home Office. It is unclear whether Henry Hughes is the subject of the sketch or was the artist. Hughes was travelling with a group of reasonably well educated and influential men and some of them would have been accomplished in skills such as drawing. He is listed on the passengers list, as well as being one of the signatories to a letter regarding the women's behaviour during the voyage. The letter had been requested by the Surgeon-Superintendent of the ship, Charles Edward Strutt, who had been given the responsibility of supervising the Irish orphans during the journey.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Bowral Golf Links, 1907
    Guthega Power Station
    Drawn along by Fishes
    West Australian Flora No.3
  • Vic Armbruster collection(4)

    New South Wales Rugby League football cap, 1922
    Australian rugby league cap, 1924
    Queensland Rugby League cap, 1924
    Australian rugby league jersey

    The Vic Armbruster collection comprises a 1922 NSW Rugby league cap, a 1924 Queensland Rugby League cap, a 1924 Australian cap and a Kangaroos jersey, dating from 1929-30.

    Louis Victor Armbruster, known throughout his career as "Vic", played Rugby League for both NSW and QLD, and was a member of the legendary Toowoomba Clydesdales, as well as representing Australia internationally. His career is illustrated by the collection material. Caps were issued to rugby league players as part of their off-field uniform, and were worn on official occasions. The cap was a legacy of an established tradition in rugby union, and was only given to players of representative sides. They featured as a prominent part of representative football uniform up until the late 1930s. The three Vic Armbruster caps are illustrative of the caps issued to members of representative rugby league teams throughout the 1920s. Jerseys are the most recognisable item of Rugby League memorabilia, being part of the universal uniform of football, though for all this they are quite rare, having by their very nature been subjected to much wear and tear. They also serve as a valuable tool for tracking the evolution of the game in terms of styles and team colours. The Kangaroos jersey among the Armbruster material dates from 1929, and represents the very first incarnation of the Kangaroos jersey, which has continued to be used with little alteration since then.

  • Dorothy Bennett collection(167)

    Bark painting 'The Dead Spirit' by Yirawala, Marrgulidban
    Preparing for the Pukamani.
    Totemic Kangaroo
    The terrible fight of Purrukapali and Taparra
  • Lake Alexandrina 'Sister' Basket collection(1)

    Lake Alexandrina 'Sister' Basket

    This collection is a woven basket made in the Lake Alexandrina region of South Australia, traditional land of the Ngarrindjeri people, in the nineteenth century. It is a coiled basket made from sedge, which grow as tufted marsh plants beside the lakes, rivers and wetlands of the area. The basket is made of two joined identical halves, a style commonly referred to as a 'sister' basket, which is traditional to and continued by the Ngarrindjeri people.

    Basket making is considered to be one of the oldest forms of craft in the world. It is revered for both its practical and artistic qualities, and is used for utilitarian and religious purposes. Fibre weaving and basket making is a practice common to many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, having been used for carrying food, personal items, and infants. The Ngarrindjeri have retained a number of their traditional customs and Dreaming stories. The women of the region have passed the knowledge of basket making from generation to generation, and in more recent times have sold their woven baskets and mats to the tourist market.

  • Aboriginal Arts Board collection no. 2(561)

    Painting depicts two fish, one is identified as a
    Painting depicting a crocodile surrounded by eggs, by David Milaybuma
    Ngurrudu, the Emu
    Painting depicts kalkberd, the euro (Macropus robustus)
  • Myrtle Wilson collection(87)

    Certificate awarded at the Bairnsdale and District Agricultural Society 82nd Annual Show, 1960  for second prize for a nasturtium luncheon set of table linen
    Certificate awarded at the Kiama Agricultural and Horticultural Association 117th Annual Show, 1965  for first prize for a tapestry bag
    First Prize awarded to Mrs V.M. Wilson for 'Prettiest Tea-Cosy' at the Carcoar P.A. & H. Society Annual Show 1962