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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Bob Marshall collection no. 1(10)

    Document - 'Police Station Binalong / 16th August 1910 / Rough sketch of the death and depredations of John / Gilbert, Bush-ranger, by H. Pasley'
    Enfield 2-Band .577 percussion cavalry carbine
    Document - 'Particulars of Police Killed and Wounded by Bushrangers 1862 to 1868'
    'Figure-8' type black metal handcuffs

    The Bob Marshall (Part One) Collection comprises a Miner's pistol, an Enfield Cavalry percussion carbine, a Calisher & Terry percussion carbine and three sets of handcuffs. None of these objects has a known history but each is representative of general law-and-order issues in colonial Australia, particularly the role of police and issues associated with personal self-defence.

    The institutions of law and order established in Australia after 1788 reflected those of Britain and Ireland. A diversity of police forces were developed to meet specific needs but, at times, appeared powerless to control the excesses of convict bolters and bushrangers. Centralisation and re-arming of police forces in the 1850s and 1860s, draconian legislation, high rewards, secret police and Aboriginal trackers were all employed in the fight against bushranging. The weapons are from a time when controls on the possession and use of firearms were less restrictive than they are today. Issues associated with the control of firearms have been hotly debated nationally for many years, with successive Australian governments moving steadily toward increasing restrictions on their availability and use.

  • I Dowdle collection(8)

    First leaf of Record of Sessions House, Old Bailey
    Second leaf of Record of Sessions House, Old Bailey
    Permission for convict Edward Evans to pass from Launceston to Campbell Town Police Office
    Record of Sessions House, Old Bailey
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Lettercard - NSW
    [Thomas] Walker Hospital near Sydney
    Post Office and Mate's Corner, Albury
    Schools demonstration, Fremantle Oval, WA
  • Aboriginal Arts Board collection no. 2(561)

    Bark painting 'Three Rainbow Serpents' by Fred Didjbaralkka Narroldol
    'Making Spears', painted by Long Jack Phillipus Tjakamarra, 1975
    Painting depicts three x-ray style fish
  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from J. Haley, 1833
    Convict love token with a woman with an anchor
    Convict love token from Walter Jones, 1836
    Convict love token from John Morris

    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.

  • Liesl Rockchild collection(68)

    Horses and Cowboys 1999
    Horse and Cowboy 1999
    Camel, Rider and Pack Camel
    Horses and Cowboy 1997

    This collection contains sixty-eight bush toys commissioned for the Bush Toys exhibition and created from 1997 to 1999. The workd were made by evelven emerging and established artists from three Eastern Arrente communities from Central Australia. Â? Tristan Young, Calvin Smith, Christopher Wallace and Douglas Wallace, Ltyentye Apurte (Santa Teresa Mission); David Wallace and Johnny Young from Titjikala (Maryvale Station); Lindsay James, Clifford Tilmouth, Davey Tilmouth, Maxi Wehr and Michael Wehr from Engawala (Alcoota Station). Prior to their acquisition by the Museum, these works were exhibited as Bush Toys at a number of venues in rural and remote Australia.

    The objects are made from found and salvaged materials and are based on the toys that they either used or made as children and still make for their children or in Tristan Young's case still make and play with. Aboriginal communities have always produced toys for their children as teaching tools to prepare them for adulthood. Historically these were miniature versions of implements and utensils that were essential for daily survival such as toy spears, toy shields and toy boomerangs. Since the introduction of new materials like metal, plastic and glass, these toys have evolved to reflect the environment and lifestyle of the makers. Since the 1970s when many of the adults became involved in working on cattle stations, some of the toys modelled a horse and rider, some incorporated scenes of stockmen, stockyards and rodeos. Over time toys reflected changing technology in use on cattle stations. Trucks, motorbikes, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft were made.

  • Nettie McColive collection(189)

    Wildflowers quilt

    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.

  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    label attached to Colt Model 1851 Navy revolver
    Pencil sketch depicting two sheep
    Handwritten note with a list of scores or money, numbers and names
    Two piece pink full length wool dress (bodice and skirt) with cream lace trimming

    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.