page loading
Menu toggle

National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Alexandra Fountain, Bendigo, Vic
    Post Office, Bowral, 1909
    The Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, Vic
    Margaret Anglin
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art (ATSIAA) collection(2104)

    Painting by Gordon Syron entitled 'Old Minimbah Barn', 1983
    Proclamation regarding South Australia and the native population
    Eddie Marbo, by C B Robinson.
    Dancing Ceremony of spear country by Djardie Ashley

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art collection comprises 2050 artworks and other objects. The artworks - which numerically dominate the collection - were produced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia. The accumulation of these artworks into a single collection has resulted from the choices and selections made during a 38 year period by a variety of staff working for the Council for Aboriginal Affairs (CAA), the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA), the Aboriginal Development Commission (ADC) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) at the national, regional and local levels.

    The collection spans the years following the 1967 referendum, when dramatic changes in the governance of Aboriginal people took place, up to 2005 when the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission was dissolved. It provides a snapshot of the diversity and changes in Indigenous art and its representation which occurred during the period of its formation. The small number of 'non-art' objects in the collection is also significant in providing insights into the working of the various Commonwealth bodies involved in Indigenous affairs. As well as the significance of many of the individual pieces, the collection is also significant as a whole, as a complex artefact stemming from Australia's history of governance of Australian Indigenous peoples.

  • Timothy Millett collection(313)

    Convict love token from W. Taylor, 1834
    Convict love token engraved with the initials J.D., 1825
    Convict love token from Kettle, 1832
    Convict love token engraved with the names H. Orum and H. Cutler

    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.

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

    Djunkgao (Djung'kawu) and Madalait at Jelangbara (Yalangbara) - Yirrkala, 1948
    Weapon - Spear
    Malayan-type hollow cylindrical wooden pipe with metal bowl and its surface incised in 'rark' patterning
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Handwritten note
    Album containing postcards collected during Florence [Bobbie] Faithfull's European trip in 1914
    Note to Constance Faithfull, 11 November 1873
    The Pool of London

    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.

  • Nanette Ward collection(226)

    Edgar Richard Mayne's Australian cricket team cap
    Members ticket to the Marylebone Cricket Club England 1934
    The Jubilee Book of Cricket by Prince Ranjitsinhji.
    L.C. Braund from the 1901-02 English Cricket Team to Australia
  • Barbara Tong collection(1)

    Single-furrow horse-drawn plough used by experimental wheat breeder William Farrer
  • Bill Reid - John Cawte collection(47)

    Carved emu egg by Bill Reid
    Emu egg carved with images of a possum and two kangaroos by Bill Reid
    Emu egg carved with an image of a man's face and native Australian animals by Bill Reid, 1990
    Emu egg carved with an image of Tony Mundine 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 "Caf�© 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.