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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from George Paine, 1830
    Convict love token from I.B., 1843
    Convict love token from G. Johnson, 1841
    Convict love token from John Woodfield, 1831

    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.

  • 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.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Presbyterian Church Goulburn
    Entrance to Gloucester Park, trotting course, Perth, WA
    Botanical Gardens, Sydney
    Birds eye view of Parramatta. N.S.W
  • Ruby Lee collection(134)

    Handwritten poem titled
    Handwritten poem by Keith Dodd
    S.W.W.C.A. 1934 England Visit Australia
    Victorian XI 1936
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Two sequencial pages out of a bible.
    Lord Kitchener, Secretary of State for War - Britons for ever.

    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.

  • Bill Reid - John Cawte collection(47)

    Carved emu egg by Bill Reid
    Emu egg carved with image of a horse by Bill Reid
    Emu egg carved with image of a man's face by Bill Reid, 1987
    Emu egg carved with image of a person's face 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.

  • Nettie McColive collection(189)

    Correspondence School Super Primary Department Progress Certificate for 1st Year Drawing and Applied art

    Needlework has been an important creative outlet for women throughout Australian history. This work has often been denigrated due to the (gendered) divide between high and low culture which regards domestic work as trivial, feminine and unworthy of the title "Art". A reassessment of history informed by womens' history and feminism has led to domestic needlework being acknowledged as more than simply functional labour. The social role of this type of work is now better appreciated making it a vital aspect of domestic material culture.

    This collection consists of objects relating to the life of Minetta (Nettie) McColive (nee Huppatz). Mrs McColive's quilts form the centre piece of the collection. Three of these were made in the 1930's, the Farm Life Quilt, Wildflowers Quilt and the International Quilt. Also featured in the collection are certificates, photographs and d'oyleys. This collection helps to document issues such as women in rural Australia, quilting and needlework, education in the outback, community or commemorative quilting, shows and competitions.

    Mrs McColive's work has been the subject of considerable interest both in South Australia as well as in the general quilting community. Her work is featured in two books, Jennifer Isaac's The Gentle Arts and Margaret Rolfe's Patchwork Quilts in Australia. Her work has also featured in exhibitions such as the Quilt Australia '88 exhibition as well as an exhibition held in Prospect showcasing the work of local artists.

  • American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land (AASEAL) collection(218)

    Wild Honey
    Armband - Milingimbi, N.T.
    Oblong bark container
    Weapon - Spear