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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    George Edwards as
    Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, VIC
    The Ocean Beach, Manly, NSW
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Plate No.11 from Carter's Floral Illustrations
    An outdoors scene
    Handwritten recipe

    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.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art (ATSIAA) collection(2104)

    Emu egg engraving of an echidna
    Dog Dreaming by George Milpurrurru
    Fish scoop
    Hunting Boomerang

    The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs Art collection comprises 2050 artworks and other objects. The artworks - which numerically dominate the collection - were produced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities throughout Australia. The accumulation of these artworks into a single collection has resulted from the choices and selections made during a 38 year period by a variety of staff working for the Council for Aboriginal Affairs (CAA), the Department of Aboriginal Affairs (DAA), the Aboriginal Development Commission (ADC) and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) at the national, regional and local levels.

    The collection spans the years following the 1967 referendum, when dramatic changes in the governance of Aboriginal people took place, up to 2005 when the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission was dissolved. It provides a snapshot of the diversity and changes in Indigenous art and its representation which occurred during the period of its formation. The small number of 'non-art' objects in the collection is also significant in providing insights into the working of the various Commonwealth bodies involved in Indigenous affairs. As well as the significance of many of the individual pieces, the collection is also significant as a whole, as a complex artefact stemming from Australia's history of governance of Australian Indigenous peoples.

  • Alexander Ferguson collection(3)

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

  • Marisol Martinreyes collection(2)

    Mail Ticket certifying Charles Rasp and Thomas Lowe partnership in share of Broken Hill Mining Company bought from Samuel Hawkins, 1885
    Agreement dated 25th May 1885 between Samuel Hawkins and Charles Rasp regarding share in Broken Hill Silver Mining Company

    The Marisol Martinreyes collection consists of an agreement between Charles Rasp and Samuel Hawkins for the purchase of a share in the Broken Hill Silver Mining Company, dated 25 May 1885 and a document, 'Mail Ticket', stating that Charles Rasp and Thomas Low were equal partners in a share bought from Samuel Hawkins, witnessed by William Jamieson, dated 27 April 1885.

    The collection relates to one of Australia's traditional economic staples, mining, and how this industry promoted regional settlement. The material exemplifies the intense fluctuations and manoeuvring which characterised early history of the Broken Hill Proprietary Co. The men in the documents were significant players in the establishment of this company, its success and consequently the development of the town, so much so that Charles Rasp, who both document relate to, is often credited as the founder of Broken Hill.

  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from William Coulson, 1835
    Convict love token from John Woodfield, 1831
    Convict love token from I. Mann, 1844
    Convict love token from Thomas Winfield, 1838

    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.

  • Sir Hubert Opperman collection no. 2(216)

    Paris - Brest - Paris, 1891-1991 [cycling]
    Single cufflink
    Pair of cufflinks

    The Sir Hubert Opperman Collection No. 2, comprises 181 objects relating to his cycling, political and RAAF careers. Items of note include a silver tray presented to him for duties as Immigration Minister in 1966; Knights Bachelor Medal awarded by Queen Elizabeth II in 1968; and a Basque Beret worn when he was awarded the Gold Medal of Paris in 1991 by Jacques Chirac.

    Sir Hubert Opperman, or 'Oppy' has he was affectionately known, became a household name in the 1920s and 1930s as a result of his cycling achievements. He set 101 state, national and world records and was the public face of Malvern Star Bicycle Company. From 1949 to1972, Opperman pursued a career in politics, holding several portfolios for the Liberal party, and became Australia's first High Commissioner to Malta in 1966. He was knighted in1968 and retired from politics in 1972. Sir Hubert Opperman died in 1996 at the aged of 92.

  • Warakurna Tjanpi collection no.2(5)

    Yarnangu Painting Tjarra (Person with Painting) by Nora Holland, Dianne Ungukalpi Golding and Eunice Yunurupa Porter
    Y'iwarra Kultu Warakurnala Kutu (The Road to Warakurna) by Jean Burke
    Untitled basket by Nancy Nyanyarna Jackson
    Yilkaringkatjanyayi Pitja (Has the Plane Come?) by Dianne Ungukalpi Golding