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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    The sundowner
    A Prime Minister
    Back of wall Cataract
    The batchelor's hut
  • Timothy Millett collection(313)

    Convict love token from Fredrick Bloodswort, 1840
    Convict love token from J. Stoneham, 1823
    Convict love token captioned I love till death shall stop my breath, 1802
    Convict love token engraved with the text WELSH MARTYRS

    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.

  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    After the cut out 1880 / 16
    Music Hall, Kenmore Asylum
    A rose, with birthday message

    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.

  • Hinchley Family collection(1)

    Water rat skin cape made from over 50 pelts

    The Hinchley Family Collection contains a 1940s water rat skin cape made from 51 pelts. It is fully lined with rayon, and is secured by a ribbon and two hook and eye fasteners. The cape is in excellent condition.

    The water rats used to make the cape were trapped by Hinchley family members in the Riverina, New South Wales, using old jam tins bated with sardines or fish oil. The pelts were taken to a Wagga Wagga furrier - the Schultz Tannery - to be made into a cape. Trapping of water rats, which are a native species, is now illegal but in the 1930s and 1940s water rats were trapped in large numbers for their fur. The height of fashion, fur items were popular in the first half of the twentieth century. When a shortage in the supply of muskrat fur from America occurred in the late 1930s, trapping of local water rats intensified. In the 1940s, as World War II continued, bans on fur importations increased demand for local furs. Some farmers and fishermen, who considered them a pest, also trapped water rats. Once thought to be at risk, the species now has secure population levels. The cape is a rare item, irreplaceable under current wildlife conservation laws

  • David Allen medals collection(111)

    Royal Agricultural and Horticultural Society of South Australia 1903 'Suffolk Punch Entire'
    Port Phillip Farmers Society 1859 'Hay Cart'
    Aldinga Annual Ploughing Match 1853 'Best Man'
    Kerang Agricultural & Pastoral Society 1885 'Chaff Cutter'

    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.

  • American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land (AASEAL) collection(218)

    Naluk - The Woman
    Reef Fish
  • Dr Herbert Basedow collection(424)

    Film negative - Mt Kikinguana, discovered and named by the Mackay expedition, western Petermann Ranges, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1926
    Film negative - Outcrop of desert sandstone, Lambina Soakage Well, South Australia, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1903
    Glass plate negative - Men and horses pulling the expedition car up a sandy stream bank, Victoria River district, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1922
    Glass plate negative - Women and children at campsite, Darwin, Northern Territory, photographed by Herbert Basedow, 1922
  • Ben Chifley collection no. 2(1)

    Brown leather armchair associated with Ben Chifley

    The Ben Chifley collection No. 2 consists of a single seated, leather-covered club chair, believed to have been used by the former Prime Minister, Joseph Benedict (Ben) Chifley, at the Hotel Kurrajong between 1945 and 1949. The chair is upholstered in tanned leather and is button-backed with brass studs. The chair was reputedly to have been reserved for Chifley's exclusive use at the Hotel Kurrajong, in which he enjoyed his passion of reading.

    Ben Chifley was Australia's 16th Prime Minister, and is recognised as one of the most influential of Australian Prime Ministers. He has legendary status in the Australian labour movement. Chifley was a committed centralist. As Prime Minister he introduced national projects such as the Snowy Mountains hydro-electric scheme and the assisted immigration program. He also pushed through legislation that enabled the State and Commonwealth governments to become the collectors of income tax, and sought the nationalisation of the private banks so that the federal government could have more control over the economy with limited success.