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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer

4

Collections

  • Timothy Millett collection(313)

    Convict love token from James Pratt, 1836
    Convict love token from J. Riley, 1832
    Convict love token from Thomas Spicer, January 17, 1818
    Convict love token from Joseph Hickman, 1829

    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.

  • Josef Lebovic Gallery collection no. 1(7551)

    Remembrance from Wattle Land ..
    Byrnes Bush, Botany
    Banyette Street, Bowral
    St Patrick's Church, Albury, NSW
  • Songlines - Judy Trigger collection(1)

    Wati Nyiru
  • Nanette Ward collection(226)

    Xmas, happy new year
    Handwritten note
    Last season of the East Melbourne Cricket ground, 1921
    Photograph of a pavilion at the East Melbourne Cricket Ground
  • Springfield Merino Stud collection(166)

    Prize card awarded to Mr AL Faithfull Goulburn 1888
    Champion Prize card awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, 1887
    Prize card awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, 1887
  • Bothwell Museum collection(192)

    Wire peg with round wooden handle and wooden rollers
    Wire clothes peg
    Wignalls bamboo pram
    Factory made wooden dolly peg
  • Nettie McColive collection(189)

    Certificate
    Certificate
    Certificate
    Certificate

    Needlework has been an important creative outlet for women throughout Australian history. This work has often been denigrated due to the (gendered) divide between high and low culture which regards domestic work as trivial, feminine and unworthy of the title "Art". A reassessment of history informed by womens' history and feminism has led to domestic needlework being acknowledged as more than simply functional labour. The social role of this type of work is now better appreciated making it a vital aspect of domestic material culture.

    This collection consists of objects relating to the life of Minetta (Nettie) McColive (nee Huppatz). Mrs McColive's quilts form the centre piece of the collection. Three of these were made in the 1930's, the Farm Life Quilt, Wildflowers Quilt and the International Quilt. Also featured in the collection are certificates, photographs and d'oyleys. This collection helps to document issues such as women in rural Australia, quilting and needlework, education in the outback, community or commemorative quilting, shows and competitions.

    Mrs McColive's work has been the subject of considerable interest both in South Australia as well as in the general quilting community. Her work is featured in two books, Jennifer Isaac's The Gentle Arts and Margaret Rolfe's Patchwork Quilts in Australia. Her work has also featured in exhibitions such as the Quilt Australia '88 exhibition as well as an exhibition held in Prospect showcasing the work of local artists.

  • Scott Rainbow collection(81)

    Plaited leather whip with carved, lacquered timber handle
    Boomerang featuring front halves of cow and horse in centre and geometric designs on arms
    Decorated boomerang, inscribed with
    Shield with pokerwork bird, kangaroo, emu and bush on anterior, stylistically attributed to La Perouse, Sydney

    This collection consists of eighty one decorated objects including boomerangs, clubs, scrimshaw, stock whip handles, shields and walking sticks. The majority of the objects are associated with Aboriginal missions during the late nineteenth to mid twentieth centuries, in particular the Barambah/ Cherbourg mission (QLD), La Perouse (NSW), Palm Island (QLD), and Lake Tyers (VIC). Various locations in South Australia are also included.

    From the late nineteenth century Aboriginal people in Eastern Australia created a range of artefacts decorated with incised, carved, painted and pokerworked motifs, which documented their experiences of interaction with European settlers. 'Non-traditional' designs emerged which were specific to individual missions - such as the cross hatching and playing card iconography characteristic of Cherbourg and the incised flora and fauna motifs characteristic of La Perouse. Many of the objects in this collection reflect these new designs, and depict the changing circumstances brought about by European settlement as well as continuing links to land and traditional cultural practices. When used as trade items, these objects quickly became sought after, and as production increased they found a market as tourist souvenirs. This collection brings together a range of such objects from several key sites, including two of the most important east coast mission stations, Cherbourg and La Perouse. It also includes a number of hybrid objects, such as a tin yandi and a nail club, which combine tradition forms and functions with non-traditional materials. This collection is significant for including types of objects not well represented in existing museum collections, and for representing the range of objects being made by Indigenous people in Eastern Australia during this period, particular those living on missions.

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