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National Museum of Australia

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Collection Explorer



  • Timothy Millett collection(313)

    Convict love token from B. Watson, 1829
    Convict love token engraved with initials S.P. and T.G., 1817
    Convict love token from T.B.
    Convict love token from William Weir

    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 Allen medals collection(111)

    Kerang Agricultural & Pastoral Society 1885 'Chaff Cutter'
    Port Phillip Farmers Society 1859 'Hay Cart'
    Hawkesbury District Agricultural Society 1883 'Best Coaching Stallion'
    Aldinga Annual Ploughing Match 1853 'Best Man'

    The David Allen medals collection comprises 111 prize medals awarded at rural and urban agricultural shows across Australia from the mid-19th to the early 20th centuries. Medals in the collection are in good to reasonable condition.

    Agricultural and industrial associations formed across rural and urban Australia to foster the development of modern farming systems by promoting new scientific and technological methods. The annual show emerged as a key arena in which the hard work and skill of primary producers were acknowledged and rewarded. Shows also served significant social functions, providing regular occasions to develop and celebrate community ties. Show prizes record the spread and character of rural activities. Medals in the David Allen medals collection feature diverse representations of industrial equipment and rural produce, suggesting the role of the show in characterising agricultural activity as a process of making fruitful the unruly and unfamiliar 'natural' terrains of Australia.

  • Matthew Flinders collection(4)

    Stream anchor from Matthew Flinders' ship the 'Investigator'
    Matthew Flinders' 'A Voyage to Terra Australis' (1814), Volume 1
    Terra Australis or Australia, the Parts Explored Bewteen 1798 and 1803 by Matthew Flinders
    Matthew Flinders' 'A Voyage to Terra Australis' (1814) , Volume 2

    The Matthew Flinders collection comprises a wrought iron, fisherman's style stream anchor from Matthew Flinders' ship, the "Investigator". The anchor has a long straight shank, which has the remains of a ring at one end, and two curved arms at the other end. The surface of the anchor is corroded.

    On 18 July 1801, Matthew Flinders, commander of H.M.S. Investigator, set sail to explore and to chart the Australian coastline. Returning via Timor down the West Australian coast, in a badly leaking vessel, and with a number of his crew suffering from dysentery and fever, Flinders stopped at Middle Island in the Recherche Archipelago on 17 May 1803, for the purposes of procuring geese, seal oil and salt for his ailing crew. According to research by Mr Robert Sexton, maritime historian of Adelaide, Flinders found, on his departure four days later, that a fresh breeze was driving the Investigator towards rocks before the sails had been loosened. Using the shipÃ?Â?s spare anchors to hold the ship off the rocks, Flinders cut the anchor cables as the ship departed, losing his bower anchor and stream anchor as a result. Instead of recovering the anchors, as was usual practice, Flinders left them to be picked up at a later date. In 1972, Doug Seton from the South Australian Museum organized an expedition with fellow members of the Underwater Explorers Club of South Australia to find and raise the two anchors, which were located in Goose Island Bay on 14th January 1973 by members of the Underwater Explorers Club of SA. This collection highlights one of the important voyages of discovery and the naming of Australia by Matthew Flinders. Flinders circumnavigated Australia and confirmed its island status after many years of conjecture and uncertainty.

  • Banks Florilegium collection(2476)

    Ceriops tagal
    Crataeva religiosa Capparidaceae
    Banksia serrata
    Petalostigma banksii

    The Banks' Florilegium was published by Alecto Historical Editions (London) in association with the British Museum (Natural History) between 1980 and 1990. Each of the 100 sets that comprise the edition consists of seven hundred and forty three botanical line engravings, after the watercolours drawn from nature by Sydney Parkinson recording the plants collected by Joseph Banks and Dr Daniel Carl Solander during their voyage round the world on HMB 'Endeavour' with Lieutenant James Cook, 1768-1771. Each set is divided into 35 parts and housed in Solander Boxes. Each print or sheet within the set is identified by a blind embossed stamp on the recto, recording the publisher's and printer's chops (ie: their signatures), the copyright symbol and date. The initials of the individual printer, the plate number and the edition number are recorded in pencil. The plate-marks are virtually uniform in size: 18 x 12 inches (457 x 305 mm), and the paper is Somerset mould-made 300gsm, each sheet watermarked 'AHE' and produced specially for this edition by the Inveresk Paper Company. The sheet of paper on which the image is printed measures 28 �½ x 21 inches (724 x 556 mm), and each of the engravings is protected within a double-fold sheet of the same acid free paper which has been cut to form a window mount. Every print includes watercolour embellishments added by artists working directly from Banks' own notes. The condition of the Museum's set, No 5/100, is excellent.

    The Banks' Florilegium records and celebrates the botanical discoveries made during the first voyage of scientific discovery undertaken by Britain's Royal Navy. In addition to the vast collections of botanical and zoological specimens created, astronomical observations made and accurate maps compiled during HMB Endeavour's voyage to the Pacific, the east coast of Australia was mapped and claimed for the British Crown, leading 18 years later to the establishment of a colony in New South Wales. Joseph Banks, who financed and led the natural history contingent onboard the Endeavour, planned to publish the botanical results of the voyage in a 14 volume folio work. He hired artists to complete Sydney Parkinson's drawings and engaged a team of 18 engravers to create the copperplates. The project took 12 years and was then put aside by Banks who was by now President of the Royal Society and closely involved with the Royal Horticultural Society, Kew Gardens, the British Museum and was a friend of and unofficial advisor to the King. Sir Joseph, as he became in 1781, would go on to serve as a member of the Board of Longitude, the Coin Committe and the Privy Council's Committee for Trade, and Plantations, and his wealth, social position and extraordinary range of contacts within the political, scientific, manufacturing and diplomatic spheres made him one of the most influential figures of his day. Although the Florilegium was not published during his lifetime, he took steps for its preservation and made the drawings, notes and specimens upon which it is based available to interested visitors to the Herbarium he maintained at his home.

  • Barry Christophers collection(9)

    Prescription pad belonging to Dr Barry Christophers
    Stethoscope belonging to Dr Barry Christophers
    The day of the Dingo
    The day of the Crimson Finch, Apostle Bird and Honeyeater

    The Barry Christophers collection consists of a glass hypodermic syringe, stethoscope, prescription pad, photograph and five newspaper clippings. These personal items belonged to Barry Christophers and are in good condition.

    Trained as a medical doctor, from 1963 to 1973 Dr Barry Christophers (born 1922) was secretary of the Federal Council for the Advancement of Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders (FCAATSI) Equal Wages Committee. During the 1940s Christophers had been a student of Frederick Wood Jones (1879-1954), a scientist with a humanitarian regard for Aboriginal Australians and later Professor of Anatomy at Melbourne University. Christophers' activism was inspired by reading Woods' article 'Claims of the Australian Aborigine'. Christophers led several FCAATSI campaigns to overturn discrimination towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, such as the withholding of wages and the exclusion of Aboriginal people from the tuberculosis allowance in Queensland. Christophers lifelong friendship and collaboration with Aboriginal activist Joe McGinness (1914 - 2003) was crucial in many of these campaigns. These medical instruments, a stethoscope, prescription pad and syringe, assist to elaborate on the intertwined themes of Christophers' medical education and its impact on his activism in campaigning for equal rights for all Australians. The newspaper clippings and photograph highlight the personal friendship between Barry Christophers and Joe McGinness that sustained their professional work.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Lake Te Anue, New Zealand
    QSL card for VK2IQ, Zero Beat Radio Club Member
    Near the P.O., Bendigo Vic
    Foreshore, Lorne, Vic
  • William and Jeanette Derham Family - Bendigo Pottery collection(417)

    Ceramic Toby jug titled J Arthur
    Ceramic hot water bottle with screw cap
    Canoe shaped ceramic vase
    T W Tyzack, Melbourne, metal stamp, no base or handle

    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.

  • Songlines - Tjayanka Woods collection(4)

    The Seven Sisters