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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Royal Australian Historical Society collection no. 1(4)

    Landau known as 'The Ranken Coach'
    Thoroughbrace Coach used by the Nowland family, with accessories, trunk, spanner and jack
    Travelling trunk associated with the Cobb & Co Concord Coach used by the Nowland family

    Information from the curator Elizabeth Bay House relating to the Ranken Coach.

    The 'Royal Australian Historical Society collection no. 1' consists of a Cobb & Company (?) 'Concord' coach (including swingle trees, travelling trunk and supporting archival documents) which was used to transport mail and passengers across the Liverpool plains during the 1880s. This collection also includes an early nineteenth-century landau known as the 'Ranken Coach', which was first owned by George Ranken, a prosperous Scot who settled in Bathurst during the 1820s. It is believed to be one of the oldest surviving horsedrawn vehicles in Australia.

    This collection demonstrates the important role horse-drawn vehicles played in Australia's transport and communications history. As representative of both prestigious vehicles used for recreation and as a reflection of status as well as the vital role played by coaches in establishing communication systems across the country, these rare examples offer significant research potential in an examination of nineteenth-century transport, engineering and society.

  • Springfield Merino Stud collection(166)

    Two rams facing each other in front of a rail fence
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Model showing infantry action, Dernancourt, France, 1918
    Sydney Harbour from Dawes Point
    Launceston Centenary 21st March 1906
    Rose Bay, Sydney Harbour, NSW
  • American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land (AASEAL) collection(218)

    Bone point
    Weapon - Spearthrower
    Cylindrical fibre basket
    The final burial (aka A burial ceremony), work on paper, Yirrkla, 1948
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Note describing catching a fish
    Pencil sketch depicting the ruins of a church
    Cardboard box, with the words
    Kaffir Beauty - epicts an African mother and child

    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.

  • Nettie McColive collection(189)

    Correspondence School Super Primary Department Progress Certificate for 1st Year Drawing and Applied art

    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.

  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from A.B.
    Convict love token from J. Fletcher
    Convict love token, Mary Hill, May 11, 1826
    Convict love token from William Franklin, June 23, 1819

    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.

  • Campfire Group All Stock Must Go collection(2)

    Concept photograph of nine members of the Campfire Group of artists seated around the oval boardroom table of the Queensland Art Gallery
    A colour concept photograph of the installation artwork

    The installation work All Stock Must Go is an assemblage of body parts from an old Dodge truck painted with significant Aboriginal designs. It comprises a truck cab, a bonnet, a fuel tank, tray back, side mirror, 4 wooden human figure cut outs, 2 contextual photographs, decorated goggles, a CD and Video documentaries and lid support for the monitor. This work was created in 1996 in Brisbane by the Campfire Group (primarily a collective of urban Indigenous artists) for inclusion in the 1996 Asia-Pacific Triennial held in Brisbane.

    This installation is a symbolic visual statement by a collective of Indigenous people about urban culture and related socio-political issues. The use of the truck references the history of the removal of Aboriginal people from ancestral lands to depots of assimilation such as missions. Parallels are drawn with the use of cattle trucks for the herding of cattle. The title is a play on words which simultaneously refers to the commodification of culture at sale prices - thus "all stock must go" - and the further devaluation of urban and tribal artefacts by selling art from 'the back of a truck', both of which highlight the use of Indigenous designs through the tourist trade. Issues of cultural loss, self determination and cultural reclamation were addressed in various ways including the re-purposing of the truck which led to it being dismantled. Truck parts were re-possessed or re-appropriated through the application of traditional markings.