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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Myrtle Wilson collection(87)

    Certificate awarded at the Springsure Pastoral & Agricultural Society Springsure Show for first prize for a table centre
    Second Prize awarded to Mrs V.M. Wilson for 'Prettiest & Best Tea-Cosy' by the Weethalle P & A Society
    Certificate awarded to Mrs V. Wilson at the Luddenham & District Agricultural and Horticultural Society 61st Annual Show, 1964 for first prize for a table centre
  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Good Luck from Marrickville
    Australia - Natives Hunting the Kangaroo
    Rotunda on the Torrens
    Reid's Albion Hotel
  • Ellarose Savage collection no.1(4)

    'Susu Shell IV' by Ellarose Savage, 2009
    'Susu Shell III' by Ellarose Savage, 2009
    'Susu Shell II' by Ellarose Savage, 2009
    'Susu Shell' by Ellarose Savage, 2009

    This collection consists of a series of four lino prints on paper titled 'Susu Shell Suite'. The artist, Ella-Rose Savage, is from Erub Island in the Torres Strait. Susu shell is the Torres Strait Creole name for Trochus shell. Ella-Rose accompanied her father on a camping and diving trip to collect and process Trochus shells. The prints illustrate the events of the expedition and the different stages in the collection and processing of the shells.

    Trochus shells were collected for trade and jewellery and, in the post-contact period, were widely sought after for buttons. Torres Strait Islanders have a close connection with, and understanding of, the waters around their Islands. Many Islanders worked in maritime-based commercial activities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including diving for pearl and Trochus shells, gathering Beche-de-mer (Trepang) and commanding or crewing on sailing luggers. Ella-Rose Savage documents her interest in expressing her relationship with the sea and the links between her surroundings, objects and culture. These prints not only tell the story of a common secular activity but also provide representations of the modern resources used in that activity. These include the western board shorts worn by the divers, the aluminium dinghy and outboard (an iconic feature of the Torres Strait today) and the tents at the temporary processing site.

  • Alexander Ferguson collection(3)

    1803 Pattern British Infantry Officer's sword and scabbard of New South Wales Colonial Governor Lachlan Macquarie
    Dirk, scabbard, by-knife and fork used by New South Wales Colonial Governor Lachlan Macquarie
    Black leather dirk scabbard used by New South Wales Colonial Governor Lachlan Macquarie

    The Alexander Ferguson Collection consists of a 1803 Pattern British Infantry Officer's sword and scabbard, a dirk, scabbard, by-knife and fork and a black leather scabbard belonging to and used by Lieutenant-Colonel Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales from 1810 to 1821. The regimental sword was purchased by Macquarie after serving in North America, India and Egypt, before his appointment to the colony of New South Wales. It reflects his Scottish heritage with a decorative thistle relief. The number of his new regiment, the 73rd, is engraved on the main knuckle-bow. Dirks were worn by senior officers of Scottish regiments as clan insignia.

    Lachlan Macquarie is a key figure in the development of the colony of New South Wales. He was chose to replace Governor William Bligh and began his term on 1st January 1810. Over the next decade he transformed the colony's infrastructure, economy and prospects. His determination to rehabilitate the social status of 'reformed' convicts won him powerful enemies in the colony and in Britain, and in 1822 he sailed for London to defend himself against his critics. Fearing that his achievements would be eclipsed by the 'false, vindictive and malicious' report of the Bigge Commission, Macquarie battled to salvage his reputation. He died in London on 1 July 1824, two months after a grueling journey from Scotland to secure his pension

  • Tony Hill collection no. 4(11)

    A folder for a letter
    Letter from Stephen White to his sons, 1862
    Letter by Charles Harris to his grand daughter Louese White
    Letter to Julia White
  • Dr Helen M Wurm collection no. 4(75)

    Bark painting 'The Bremer Island Turtle Man' by Mawalan Marika, Yirrkala, 1967
    Painting depicts a large shark & lizard
    Bark painting 'The Fire Dreaming' by Mutitjpuy Mununjgurr, Yirrkala, 1967
    Bark painting 'The Wagilag Story' by Dawidi Djulwadak, Milingimbi, 1967
  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from James Clarke, 1849
    Convict love token from W. S., 1831
    Convict love token from Charles Waldron, 1844
    Convict love token from G. Barker, 1843

    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.

  • L Richard Smith breastplate collection(20)

    Dawalla, King of Wgga[sic] Wagga
    King Mallee of the Nyungar Danoo Outstation 1881
    Nugget, Billee-ling-oo, Queen of Boulia, 1930
    Sambo [crossed out], King of Mount Morris, W.M. Hill

    This collection is comprised of seventeen Australian Indigenous breastplates (also known as king plates or gorgets). They come from a collection accumulated by L. Richard Smith, a noted collector of medals and porcelain. The breastplates are associated with Indigenous people from Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia. The breastplates are all metal, of varying size, and are generally crescent shaped. Each is inscribed with the recipient's name, and many include an associated region and an honorary title such as 'king', 'queen' or 'chief'.

    During the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, government authorities and settlers gave breastplates to Indigenous people for a variety of reasons. They were used as a way of selecting and identifying local elders to act as intermediaries between settlers and local Indigenous people. They were also given out in recognition of service and/or assistance (for example to Aboriginal stockmen or for saving people from ship wrecks). As such, they are significant cross-cultural objects that document early interaction between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in different regions of Australia. They often record the names of Indigenous people, and the station or region with which they are associated; people who are not otherwise represented in historical records. The collection is also significant in expanding the geographical scope of the National Museum's existing breastplate collection.