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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Kevin Hannan collection(9)

    Photograph of Winnie O'Sullivan standing with her hands clasped
    Gold mourning locket containing a photograph of Australian champion boxer Les Darcy, who died in 1917
    Photograph of Winnie O'Sullivan sitting on a backless stool, c1917
    Photograph of Winnie O'Sullivan and Lily Malloy and others

    The Kevin Hannan collection consists of material relating to the grieving of Winnie O'Sullivan over the death of her fiancée, Australian champion boxer Les Darcy, in 1917. The collection is supported by 2 postcards and 6 photographs depicting Darcy's ill-fated boxing career in America, and friends and family of Winnie O'Sullivan central to the Darcy story throughout various periods of her life.

    After rising to stardom as a champion boxer during the First World War period, Les Darcy became a political scapegoat of the first conscription referendum in 1916. A young, fit and healthy example of Australian masculinity, Darcy symbolized all males whom the greater public had deemed eligible for service and were shirking their duty of serving their country on the battlefield. Darcy subsequently left Australia to establish a boxing career in America, but died from septicaemia caused by a tooth infection in May 1917 at the age of 21. Although the material speaks something of Darcy's plight, it also reflects the ways in which Australians dealt with death, loss and mourning during the early twentieth century, but more importantly, during the devastating years of the First Word War.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7553)

    Victory March Through London, 3rd May, 1919
    The Australian Joint Stock Bank Ltd
    Fairy-Beauty rocks a babe
    The Heads Sydney N.S.W.
  • John Ramsay collection(1)

    Federation-era flag or bunting

    Associated with the Federation celebrations of 1901, this collection consists of a flag or piece of bunting measuring 55x70cm. It is made of a thin fabric with machine-stitched edging and printed pattern. The red, blue and white design depicts six stars, a single portrait of the Duke of Cornwall and York (1865-1936) (later King George V), a Union Jack and a representation of an unrolling scroll, upon which is written Â?1901 Australian FederationÂ?. It is in an excellent state of conservation.

    Federation provided an opportunity for the new nation to assert its position within the British Empire and was enthusiastically celebrated by the Australian public. As documented in archival collections, this collection may be examined as an example of the commercial aspect of street decoration in many urban centres across the country. It also illustrates the centrality of small promotional souvenirs to many individualsÂ? participation in the celebrations surrounding Federation.

  • Alfred Ronalds collection(11)

    Drawing of a badger
    List of fishing flies
    Handwritten list of Hackle Flies and Winged Flies
    Note titled 'No.1'

    The Alfred Ronalds Collection consists of a copy of the third edition of The Fly-Fisher's Entomology, published in England in 1844. The book contains a detailed description of the art of fly-fishing, plus fifty artificial flies and instructions about how to make them. There are also twenty plates displaying a hundred delicately coloured illustrations of insects and their imitations. This copy of the book was owned by A J Lane, an early fly-fishing enthusiast. Writing in his journal of 1843, Lane describes the fish, the fishing, and the flies of southern England in great detail. A J Lane has embellished this book with thirty-two mounted artificial flies, and added extensive notes.

    Alfred Ronalds first published The Fly-Fisher's Entomology in 1836, the result of his thoughts, observations and experiments undertaken in a purpose-built hut on the banks of the Blythe River in Staffordshire, England. Acclaim for Ronalds and his book, was immediate and long-lasting. It is still regarded as one of the greatest achievements in angling literature, particularly in connecting the practice of fly-fishing with the science of entomology. The scientific basis of the book influenced angling techniques and their consequent development world wide. The fame of Alfred Ronalds and his book preceded his arrival in Australia. He died in 1860, just four years before trout were introduced to Australia by Tasmanian pastoralist James Youl. Ronalds' daughter, Maria Shanklin, continued the tradition of fly-tying during the 1860s and 1870s, and her design, named the Wennel, is still used by Australian fly-fishers. Fly-fishing today is one of the most popular forms of fishing in Australia.

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

    Reef Fish
    Weapon - Spear
    Bark painting, Malay  Prau, painted by Yalioura on Groote Eylandt, April 1948
  • Alison Hope Oliver collection(10)

    Mothers and Widows badge issued to the mother of 9956 Driver Alison Hope Oliver, AIF, who was killed in France
    Commemorative certificate from King George to the mother of 9956 Driver Alison Hope Oliver, AIF, who was killed in France
    British War Medal 1914-20 to 9956 Driver Alison Hope Oliver, AIF
    Australian Army brass hat badge
  • Neil Jensen collection(72)

    Packing Note from Hants & Sussex Aviation Ltd.
    Certificate of Airworthiness for G-AERD issued by UK Civil Aviation Authority, 7 May 1981
    Receipt from the Swiss Aero Club in German, issued to F. Dafaux
    Compass Swing Record carried out for C of A renewal

    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.

  • Canning Stock Route collection(124)

    'Lawalawa' by Ngarralja Tommy May, 2007
    'My Country' by Sheila Friday Jones, 2007
    'Jilji' by Taku Rosie Tarco, 2007
    Fibre basket by Renette Biljabu, 2008

    The Canning Stock Route collection is comprised of 125 works and includes paintings, drawings, baskets, boomerangs, coolamons, headdresses, carved figures and shields.

    The Canning Stock Route is a no-longer-used cattle droving route that traverses the Great Sandy and Gibson Deserts of central Western Australia. Comprised of 48 wells along an 1800 kilometres stretch of track, the route links Wiluna in the south with Sturt Creek in the north and traverses the traditional lands of nine Aboriginal language groups. The route was founded in 1905 when Alfred Canning was commissioned to investigate a route suitable for the droving of 500 head of cattle, with water sources spaced at intervals of no more than one day's walk apart. Although Canning's map records observations of the land and water resources, it makes no mention of Indigenous places and their associated meanings which the route traversed. This collection, composed of 'painting stories', sculptural works and oral histories, re-dresses Canning's omission and records the impact of the stock route on Indigenous lives and country. A six week journey with traditional owners held in July and August of 2007 inspired the artworks, many of which were produced during the journey, and provided an opportunity for more than 70 senior and emerging artists to reconnect with traditional lands..