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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Two children and a Horse.
    QSL card for VK3RX
    Soldier's Memorial and Observatory Obelisks, Parramatta Park, N.S.W.
    The Harbour from Kirribilli, Sydney, NSW
  • William and Jeanette Derham Family - Bendigo Pottery collection(417)

    Salt glazed brown ceramic demijohn with screw-threaded stopper [Adelaide Chemical & Fertiliser Company Ltd]
    Ginger Beer Barrel 3 Gallon
    Glazed brown ceramic demijohn with screw-threaded stopper [Mt Lyell M&R Co Ltd, Port Adelaide]
    Water Filter with lid and tap

    The William and Jeanette Derham family collection is the physical manifestation of Mr Derham's commitment to documenting the work of Bendigo Pottery, its wares and institutional history, as well as the association he and his family had with the business between 1968 and 1983. The collection consists of historic Bendigo Pottery ceramics from the 19th and 20th centuries which illustrate the diversity of wares produced between 1858 and 1971, as well as a comprehensive range of items manufactured during the Derham era. This material is supported by a unique collection of stamps and printing blocks used as part of the manufacturing and advertising processes as well as documentary materials, photographs and ephemera which illustrate working life at Bendigo Pottery.

    Since its establishment in 1858, Bendigo Pottery has played a significant role in the history of Australian ceramics, producing wares ranging from the domestic and decorative, to the utilitarian and industrial. The history of the business illustrates the process of technological transfer in the decorative arts, the adaptation of imported ceramic traditions to local markets and the development of distinctively Australian imagery, styles and pottery products. Bendigo Pottery has provided useful products and employment opportunities to the community for 150 years and on an aesthetic level ensured that the skills of the potter, which so easily could have been lost with the advent of mass production techniques, have been preserved for posterity.

  • Betty Hall collection(58)

    Letter to The Manager, Parliament House Dining Room, Canberra, ACT, from H Grattan Guinness, Managing Editor, 20th Century Fox Movietone News
    Album containing 27 photographs of significant sites around Canberra, from the 1930's
    Invitation 'To meet Mr Tatsuo Kawai, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Japan...', 1941

    The Betty Hall Collection represents a unique collection of material relating to the history of the Parliamentary Dining Rooms in the Provisional Parliament House.

    This collection was put together by Mr H L Napthali who worked as the Chief Steward in the Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms from 1939 - 1945. He moved to Canberra in 1939 after having worked in the NSW Parliamentary Refreshment Rooms. While at Provisional Parliament House Mr Napthali supervised a staff of fifty people and was responsible for purchasing as well as servicing the various bars and dining rooms within the House. He was also responsible for organising special dinners for commemorative occasions and for overseas visitors. Mr Napthali accumulated material relating to the history of the Federal Parliament both when worked in the NSW Parliament and in the Federal Parliament.

  • David Ritchie collection(1)

    Section of green metal security fence post, which became a projectile during the bombing of the Australian Embassy in Jakarta on 9 September 2004

    The David Ritchie collection - Jakarta Embassy Bombing projectile contains material relating to the Australian Embassy bombing in Jakarta. The collection consists of a single green metal fence post which shattered the fourth floor office window of the Australian Ambasador to Indonesia. David Ritchie was seated at his desk when the bomb exploded and the fence post propelled itself into his office window. Treatments to strengthen the glass against explosives shielded the Ambassador from the potentially lethal missile.

    On 9 September 2004, a terrorist car bomb detonated outside the gates to the Australian Embassy in Jakarta killing 10 people and wounding over 140 others. Following in the wake of repeated terrorist related bombings in Indonesia, most notably the 2002 Bali bombings, the Australian Embassy bombing material not only demonstrates the threat of terrorism to contemporary Australian society, but also reflects the differing relationships Australia and Indonesia have shared from the volatile years preceding the Vietnam War through to the joint grief and mourning of the present.

  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from John Warnes, 1842
    Convict love token from George Paine, 1830
    Convict love token from Thomas Alsop, 1833
    Convict love token from John Harris, 1829

    The Timothy Millett collection comprises 307 convict love tokens dating from 1762 to 1856, and seven contemporary documents relating to the criminal justice system including: recommendations to commute the death sentences of Hester Sampson and Thomas Hayes to life transportation; a calendar of prisoners awaiting trial in the goals of Durham, Newcastle and Northumberland; a request to the Middlesex assizes for rewards to be paid; a printed copy of George Skene's last speech prior to execution; a printed broadside listing prisoners in Dorchester jail awaiting transportation; and a 60 page handwritten account of the life of Thomas Jones, who was transported twice and finally hanged at Winchester Prison in 1856.

    Convict love tokens, typically made from smoothed-down coins and engraved or stippled with a message, derive from traditional sailors' farewells. The production of these 'leaden hearts' rose as criminal indictments increased in Britain, with the majority produced during the 1820s and 1830s. As mementos made by or for convicts facing transportation (or death) to leave behind for their loved ones, the tokens provide a poignant, personal insight into the transportation system.

  • Myrtle Wilson collection(87)

    Certificate awarded at the Kiama Agricultural and Horticultural Association 117th Annual Show, 1965  for first prize for a tapestry bag
    Certificate awarded at the Dowerin Agricultural Society Annual Show, 1967 for first prize for a calico apron
    Certificate awarded at the Traralgon and District Agricultural Society's 80th Spring Exhibition, 1968 for a tatted butterfly doily
    Certificate awarded at the Springsure Pastoral & Agricultural Society Springsure Show for first prize for a table centre
  • Canning Stock Route collection(124)

    'Wayampajarti' by Wakartu Cory Surprise, 2007
    'Minyma Kutjarra' by Pulpurru Davies, 2008
    'Canning Stock Route' by Mervyn Street, 2008
    'My Father Looking for his Brother' by Clifford Brooks, 2007

    The Canning Stock Route collection is comprised of 125 works and includes paintings, drawings, baskets, boomerangs, coolamons, headdresses, carved figures and shields.

    The Canning Stock Route is a no-longer-used cattle droving route that traverses the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts of central Western Australia. Comprised of 48 wells along an 1800 kilometres stretch of track, the route links Wiluna in the south with Sturt Creek in the north and traverses the traditional lands of nine Aboriginal language groups. The route was founded in 1905 when Alfred Canning was commissioned to investigate a route suitable for the droving of 500 head of cattle, with water sources spaced at intervals of no more than one day's walk apart. Although Canning's map records observations of the land and water resources, it makes no mention of Indigenous places and their associated meanings which the route traversed. This collection, composed of 'painting stories', sculptural works and oral histories, re-dresses Canning's omission and records the impact of the stock route on Indigenous lives and country. A six week journey with traditional owners held in July and August of 2007 inspired the artworks, many of which were produced during the journey, and provided an opportunity for more than 70 senior and emerging artists to reconnect with traditional lands..

  • Bill Reid - John Cawte collection(47)

    Carved emu egg by Bill Reid
    Emu egg carved with image of a man's face by Bill Reid, 1987
    Carved emu egg by Bill Reid
    Emu egg carved with image of a dingo and possum by Bill Reid

    The Bill Reid - John Cawte Collection comprises a series of emu eggs carved by William 'Bill' Reid (1917 -1993), a renowned Gamilaraay artist from northern-central NSW. The collection contains sixteen emu eggs - fourteen carved, one partly carved and one uncarved. They feature representations of Truganinni, Mum Shirl, the Ella brothers, Bill Reid, Albert Namatjiria and Tony Mundine, Alva Reid - Bill Reid's daughter, as well as John Cawte and Betty Watts (John Cawte's wife).
    The collection also includes Reid's innovative system for internally illuminating each carved egg, consisting of a light stand on a circular cork board with a plastic batten holder and cord, sixteen plastic batten holders, sixteen switch cases, sixteen "push button or bell press" mechanisms, a tungsten 15 watt clear light bulb, seventeen plastic "Café HAG" coffee jar lids.

    The collection is significant as constituting a rare series of representations of prominent Indigenous people and other figures undertaken by a renowned Aboriginal artist. As a set of carved emu eggs it is also an important contribution to the National Museum's collection of 20th century Indigenous craft objects. The collection compliments an existing NHC collection of six carved eggs depicting prominent Indigenous figures also carved by Reid.