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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



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

    Bark painting - Djunkgao and Madalait at Arnhem Bay
    Weapon - Spear
    The Flight of the Morning Star, work on paper, Yirrkala, 1948
  • Toby of Vanrook Breastplate collection(1)

    Toby, King of Vanrook

    This collection consists of a crescent-shaped brass breastplate with a chain attached to each end. The plate is inscribed 'TOBY / KING OF VANROOK' and bears traces of a red and black enamel-like substance that once filled in the lettering. It is unknown who presented it to 'Toby' or when. The location 'Vanrook' is Vanrook Station in the region of the Gulf of Carpentaria, north Queensland, about 120 kilometres north-east of Normanton. It is located on the border between the lands of the Kurtjar and Kunjen people, inland from Delta Downs station.

    As with many of the Aboriginal people named on breastplates, there is no other known record of 'Toby'. It is likely that he was a Kunjen or Kurtjar man who worked at Vanrook. Breastplates are a tangible record of relationships between individual settlers and Aboriginal people around mainland Australia. They were frequently presented to recognise the 'Chief' or 'King' of a 'tribe', in attempt to aid peaceable settlement. They also often recognise service, such as on a pastoral property. The National Museum holds the largest collection of breastplates in the world, most of which are the only known record of the life of the recipient.

  • Green's Motorcade Museum collection(1)

    1913 Delaunay-Belleville Tourer

    The 'Green's Motorcade Museum collection' consists of a restored yellow Delaunay-Belleville 3.75 litre tourer manufactured in Paris, France in 1913 and an associated dating certificate issued by the Veteran Car Club of Australia. This prestigious car is thought to have been imported to Australia by the prominent Osborne family of Gundaroo, NSW. It was later owned by the Sibley family, also of Gundaroo, and several private collectors before being acquired for the National Historical Collection in 1982.

    Representative of a coachbuilt marque favoured by royalty, this Delaunay-Belleville reflects the rise of the automobile industry in the early twentieth-century and the import of increasingly sophisticated European and American vehicles to Australia. This car also offers insights into the domestic life of two prominent families in the NSW Southern Tablelands during the early twentieth century and the collection of car culture in the private sphere.

  • MacKenzie collection(1473)

    Wet specimen - Horse - foetus
    Wet specimen - Horse - Heart samples
    Wet specimen - Koala - arm muscles
    Wet specimen - Wombat - heart
  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Glass plate negative - Heavitree Gap, Alice Springs, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1923
    Glass plate negative - Baobab marked by Captain Lort Stokes' party in 1838, May River, off Stokes Bay, Western Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1916
    Film negative - The man has grouped his two wives and children according to blood relationships, north of Mt Davies, Tomkinson Ranges, South Australia, Ullparidja people, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1903
    Cylindrical basket decorated with pigment
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Sturt St, Ballarat
    Hume Reservoir, Albury, NSW
    Sepia photograph of procession down a main street
    Postcard featuring a sepia photograph of a standing soldier, in serge uniform and cap, holding a riding crop
  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from John Waine, 1832
    Convict love token from D. Frazier, 1835
    Convict love token from William Maycock
    Convict love token from M. Flinn, 1825

    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.

  • Springfield Merino Stud collection(166)

    Second prize card awarded at the Yass Spring Show, 1906
    Special Prize card awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, Wagga Wagga, 1887
    Hon. Certificate awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, Wagga Wagga, 1887
    Two sheep facing each other in front of a post and rail fence