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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Timothy Millett collection(313)

    Convict love token from G. Barker, 1843
    Convict love token from G. Poulton, 1835
    Convict love token engraved with the initials H.D. and S.S.
    Convict love token from Birmingham Bill

    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.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Entrance to Sydney Harbour, North Head in distance, NSW
    In their original tennis racquet act
    Ruins - Mrs. Buller's Cottage. North Sydney Tornado
    Blue Lake, Mt Gambier, SA
  • Myrtle Wilson collection(87)

    Certificate awarded to Mrs V.M. Wilson at the Mirboo North A. and P. Society Annual Show, 1970 for first prize for a table centre
    Certificate awarded to Mrs V.M. Wilson at the Evandale Agricultural Society Autumn Show, 1975 for second prize for a tapestry bag
    Certificate awarded at the Royal National Agricultural and Industrial Association of Queensland, 1953 for first prize for dark green quilted cushion cover
    Certificate awarded at the Bairnsdale and District Agricultural Society 82nd Annual Show, 1960  for second prize for a nasturtium luncheon set of table linen
  • Geoff Gray collection(20)

    Standard Peck gun-metal grain measure
    Standard Half Bushel gun-metal grain measure
    Standard Bushel gun-metal grain measure
    Set of three official standard gun-metal grain measures
  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Film negative - Two men spear-fishing, billabong of the East Alligator River, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1928
    Glass plate negative - Homestead of Victoria River Downs station, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1922
    Film negative - Sandhill vegetation, near Lake Wilson, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1903
    Glass plate negative - The old battery,  Arltunga, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1923
  • Canning Stock Route collection(125)

    'Pangkapini, Minyipuru' by Norma Giles, 2008
    'Mungily' by Veronica Lulu, 2008
    'Mangarri' by Elizabeth Nyumi, 2007
    Yakapiri (bark sandals)

    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..

  • Captain Cook Magnifier collection(3)

    Silver presentation case containing a small magnifier, which was given to astronomer William Bayly by Captain James Cook on his third voyage
    Small magnifying glass, given to astronomer William Bayly by Captain James Cook on his third voyage
    Silver presentation case for a magnifying glass

    The Captain Cook Magnifier collection consists of a tortoiseshell-framed folding pocket magnifier and a silver reliquary, in the shape of a capstan, in which it is housed. The tortoiseshell frame around the magnifier lens is broken at one point, but the lens is in good condition. The silver reliquary is also in good condition.

    Captain Cook's voyages of discovery between 1768 and his death in 1779 produced accurate maps, extensive collections of natural history specimens and ethnographic objects, and major advances in navigation which revolutionised European understanding of the Pacific and laid the path for British colonisation of Australia and New Zealand. The magnifier is an excellent example of the passion for Cook relics which begins with the sale of his effects before HMS 'Resolution's' mast in 1779 and continues to the present day. The magnifier served as a treasured memento of his captain for William Bayly, astronomer on Cook's second and third voyages, and was valued for its associations with both Cook and Bayly by its subsequent recipient and his family.

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

    Malayan-type hollow cylindrical wooden pipe with metal bowl and its surface incised in 'rark' patterning
    Weapon - Spear
    Weapon - Spearthrower
    Armband - Milingimbi, N.T.