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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Raymond Holliday collection(78)

    Volin case for John Devereux violin
    Violin made by William Auchterlonie, 1939
    Viola made by William Holliday, 1963
    Violin made by J.C Austin, 1918

    The Raymond Holliday collection comprise 64 violins, two viola, four violin bows, 23 music cases, one display case demonstrating flute-head making, and three booklets. The collection also features significant documentation detailing information about Australian violin makers and a selection of material representing Raymond Holliday's flute-making business.

    The collection is representative of one century of Australian violin-making from the 1800s to the late 1900s. It demonstrates the variety of makers and skills in the craft. It is also distinguished by the collector's hand - his creations, his life-long passion for violins, and his important role in advocating recognition of Australian musical instrument making. The collection features violins and violas, most of which were made by a very wide cross-section of Australian makers including well known professionals, or makers using Australian timbers. The handmade display of flute head joints used to promote Holliday's business at instrument-making fairs and music exhibitions is a poignant object showing his flute-making activities. The collection reflects the value of music in everyday life and the determination to innovate, experiment and create.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Double Bay and Darling Point
    Palace Gardens, Sydney, N.S.W
    Fighting the Flames.  A Great Fire in the City
    Ireton Lassie
  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token from Paul Stieney, 1836
    Convict love token engraved with the names E. Frost, M. Throne, S. Noon
    Convict love token from 1830
    Convict love token engraved with the names John Hobbs and George Brown, 1834

    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.

  • Grazcos collection(1)

    Wool bale pack bag
  • Vincenza Duble collection(8)

    Shaving brush of coarse blonde animal bristles and pine wood
    Rizzo brand stainless steel 'cut-throat' type razor
    Hand operated hair clippers
    Stainless steel dental tool
  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Pair of thin metal wire spectacles
    Lilian Faithfull in her wedding dress, standing on the veranda at Springfield holding her bouquet in her right hand.
    Lilian Faithfull, Ann Deane, William Pitt Faithfull, Ethel Faithfull (nee Joplin), Florence Faithfull
    Springfield Garden - gravel path and garden with female figure on path in the background

    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.

  • Banks Florilegium collection(2476)

    Tetragonia trigyna Tetragoniaceae
    Crataeva religiosa Capparidaceae
    Erythrina vespertilio Leguminosae
    Bougainvillea spectabilis Nyctaginaceae

    The Banks' Florilegium was published by Alecto Historical Editions (London) in association with the British Museum (Natural History) between 1980 and 1990. Each of the 100 sets that comprise the edition consists of seven hundred and forty three botanical line engravings, after the watercolours drawn from nature by Sydney Parkinson recording the plants collected by Joseph Banks and Dr Daniel Carl Solander during their voyage round the world on HMB 'Endeavour' with Lieutenant James Cook, 1768-1771. Each set is divided into 35 parts and housed in Solander Boxes. Each print or sheet within the set is identified by a blind embossed stamp on the recto, recording the publisher's and printer's chops (ie: their signatures), the copyright symbol and date. The initials of the individual printer, the plate number and the edition number are recorded in pencil. The plate-marks are virtually uniform in size: 18 x 12 inches (457 x 305 mm), and the paper is Somerset mould-made 300gsm, each sheet watermarked 'AHE' and produced specially for this edition by the Inveresk Paper Company. The sheet of paper on which the image is printed measures 28 ½ x 21 inches (724 x 556 mm), and each of the engravings is protected within a double-fold sheet of the same acid free paper which has been cut to form a window mount. Every print includes watercolour embellishments added by artists working directly from Banks' own notes. The condition of the Museum's set, No 5/100, is excellent.

    The Banks' Florilegium records and celebrates the botanical discoveries made during the first voyage of scientific discovery undertaken by Britain's Royal Navy. In addition to the vast collections of botanical and zoological specimens created, astronomical observations made and accurate maps compiled during HMB Endeavour's voyage to the Pacific, the east coast of Australia was mapped and claimed for the British Crown, leading 18 years later to the establishment of a colony in New South Wales. Joseph Banks, who financed and led the natural history contingent onboard the Endeavour, planned to publish the botanical results of the voyage in a 14 volume folio work. He hired artists to complete Sydney Parkinson's drawings and engaged a team of 18 engravers to create the copperplates. The project took 12 years and was then put aside by Banks who was by now President of the Royal Society and closely involved with the Royal Horticultural Society, Kew Gardens, the British Museum and was a friend of and unofficial advisor to the King. Sir Joseph, as he became in 1781, would go on to serve as a member of the Board of Longitude, the Coin Committe and the Privy Council's Committee for Trade, and Plantations, and his wealth, social position and extraordinary range of contacts within the political, scientific, manufacturing and diplomatic spheres made him one of the most influential figures of his day. Although the Florilegium was not published during his lifetime, he took steps for its preservation and made the drawings, notes and specimens upon which it is based available to interested visitors to the Herbarium he maintained at his home.

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

    Bark painting depicting Njalyot the Rainbow Serpent by Peter Marralwanga, Marrkolidjban
    Barama by Waturr Gumana,
    Sugarbag Dreaming by Jimmy Wululu
    Bark painting titled 'Mortuary Ceremony'.

    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.