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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Edgecliffe Rd. Edgecliffe. N.S.W.
    Univeristy, Brisbane, Q
    Scene in the Zoo, Sydney
    Retort House, Mortlake
  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from John Giddens
    Convict love token from Charles Williams, 1836
    Convict love token engraved with the names M. Walker and E. Jefferys, 1835
    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.

  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Glass plate negative - Luritja men demonstrating use of weapons, central Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1920
    Film negative - Horses watering, Arnhem Land, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1928
    Glass plate negative - Wagon carrying 8-tonne load, Victoria River, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1922
    Glass plate negative - Rock engravings, Deception Creek east, Flinders Ranges, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, between 1905 and 1914
  • E Milne collection(652)

    Woven semi-circular basket
    Aboriginal breastplate for Sawyer, King of Wickham Hill
    Retouched flake [stone implement]
    Retouched blade [stone implement]
  • Alexander Mussen collection(33)

    Letter from Alexander Mussen to William Mussen, September 1863
    Letter from Joseph Sharpe to Thomas Mussen, November 14th 1864
    Letter from Samuel Bromley to Thomas Mussen, Jan 1867
    Letter from Alexander Mussen to Thomas Mussen, February 1856

    The Alexander Mussen Collection consists of 3 sketches, one ambrotype portrait, newspaper clippings, 13 letters and a death certificate relating to Alexander Mussen, his time on the NSW goldfields and his death, in 1864, at the hand of bushrangers. Alexander Mussen was a young Canadian, the son of a well known merchant in Montreal. It seems he fell into some disrepute and debt in Canada and travelled to the NSW goldfields to both try his luck and redeem the family name.

    The gold rush in Australia had a major impact on society, culture, the environment and politics. The population increased dramatically, society became more diversified, colonial governments had to respond to the changes and the rest of the world became increasingly aware of Australia's wealth. The Mussen collection provides a personal and intimate insight into the practical workings of some New South Wales diggings, society more generally, law and order on the goldfields and the continuing connection between those who came to Australia and family left behind.

  • Diana Baxter collection no. 2(3)

    Letter from William Gray addressed to Janet Templeton, beginning 'My Dear Cousin, The case sent here-with is by Mr Guthrie...', dated 2 March 1814
    Mr Guthrie requests Miss Forlongs acceptance of the Necklace and Flower sent herewith
    Newspaper clipping about

    The Diana Baxter Collection No. 2 consists of the following items; a letter dated 11th February 1814 from Mr Guthrie to Miss Forlong, a letter dated 2nd March 1814 from William Gray to Janet Templeton and a newspaper clipping about Janet Templeton from 'The Argus', 1934. All objects are in good condition.

    The collection relates to Janet Templeton (1785-1857), a woman who played a significant role in the development of the Australian wool industry. Sheep and wool have long been considered of great importance to colonial Australia and wool production dominated Australian exports from the 1870s until well into the twentieth century. The fortunes of those involved in the wool industry have of course, been subject to the rise and fall of the industry itself. Recently historians have reconsidered 'givens' in Australia's pastoral history and John Macarthur's claims to be the 'father' of the industry have now been displaced, not only by his wife Elizabeth, but by other notable woman and their extended families such as Janet Templeton and Eliza Forlong.

    The Collection is also significant as it provides further information about Janet Templeton's pearl jewellery (Diana Baxter Collection), which was accepted into the National Historical Collection in 1998.

  • Papunya Art 2008 collection(15)

    Pencil drawing in Papunya style by unknown Pintupi artist, 1971
    Pencil drawing in Papunya style by unknown Pintupi artist, 1971
    Pencil drawing in Papunya style by Uta Uta Tjangala, Pintupi, 1971
    Pencil drawing in Papunya style by Uta Uta Tjangala, Pintupi. 1971

    The Papunya Art 2008 Collection consists of fifteen artworks, comprising eleven untitled watercolours and drawings on paper produced by Pintupi artists in 1971, 'Goanna Corroboree at Mirkantji' painted on plywood by Kaapa Tjampitjinpa in 1971, 'Snake Dreaming for Children' painted on particle board by Uta Uta Tjangala in 1971, an untitled work painted on wooden board by Anatjari Tjakamarra in 1972, and an untitled work on linen by Uta Uta Tjangala painted in 1986. It also includes some supporting documentation held in the Archive collection.

    The works in this collection are all significant Indigenous works, representing different stages and some of the major artists involved in the development of the Western Desert art movement at Papunya, which has become internationally renowned as the origin of the contemporary Aboriginal acrylic painting industry. The fourteen works from 1971 and 1972 represent the very earliest phase of the movement at Papunya. The eleven watercolours and drawings on paper , three attributed to Uta Uta Tjangala, represent a formative moment in this movement when artists began experimenting with different media.The sketching of designs on paper took place prior to the production of acrylic paintings. Although the designs themselves had been produced traditionally by the artists as body decoration, ground and cave paintings, when Papunya school teacher Geoffrey Bardon supplied the Pintupi men with paper, watercolour and pencil, this was the first time their designs had been applied to a non-traditional surface. Kaapa Tjampitjinpa, Uta Uta Tjangala and Anatjari Tjakamarra were all important artists who contributed to the birth and subsequent development of the Papunya painting movement. The three paintings on boards in this collection, done during 1971 and 1972, therefore enhance the Museum's holdings of significant works from this early period. The 1986 Uta Uta Tjangala painting is also a significant addition to the NMA's growing holdings of this important artist. Overall, the items in this collection are significant in expanding the chronological sweep of the NMA's holdings of Papunya related material, beyond its current strengths in the 1974-1981 period.

  • Neil Jensen collection(72)

    Carbon copy of letter to Rolls Royce seeking information on modifications to engine, 19 March 1980.
    Packing Note from Hants & Sussex Aviation Ltd.
    Airworthiness Flight Test Schedule - Radio Flight Test Report
    Certificate of Airworthiness for aircraft HB-OFU in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, 1937-1938

    The Neil Jensen collection consists of a Percival Gull Six aircraft, G-AERD, and associated archive. Made by the Percival Aircraft Company at Gravesend in Kent, England, in 1936, this aircraft was first purchased by Ariane Dufaux of Switzerland and registered as HB-OFU. After passing through several owners in Switzerland, the aircraft was sold to a collector and restored by Cliff Lovell in England where it was featured on the air show circuit and registered as G-AERD. Neil Jensen purchased G-AERD in 1983, and while it was based in Redhill, Surrey it was awarded the Percival Trophy by the Cotswold Aircraft Restoration Group.

    Born in Albury, New South Wales, in 1897, Edgar Wikner Percival served in Europe and Egypt with the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. Returning to Australia after the war, Percival operated a commercial aviation business while pursuing opportunities to design and manufacture new types of aircraft. In 1929, he travelled to England to work as a test pilot for the Bristol Aircraft Company, and in 1930 designed and manufactured the first low-wing cantilever monoplanes in the British Commonwealth. Percival formed the Percival Aircraft Company in 1932 and named the new aircraft series 'Gull'. Characterised by their graceful lines, the Gulls had light wooden frames covered with doped (lacquered) fabric and powerful four or six cylinder engines. PercivalÂ?s Gulls quickly established a reputation for high performance, with Percival designing racing versions named 'Mew Gulls', which won acclaim in the Kings Cup Air Race.