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National Museum of Australia

Collection Explorer



  • Timothy Millett collection(314)

    Convict love token inscribed with the initials J.S., 1819
    Convict love token captioned I love till death shall stop my breath, 1802
    Convict love token from Henry Bidulph, 1827
    Convict love token from M.M., 1828

    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(7553)

    Entrance to Queen Elizabeth Park, SA
    Commercial Bank, Taree
    Manley [sic], Sydney
    Waiting for Matinee - Criterion Theatre, Sydney
  • American-Australian Scientific Expedition to Arnhem Land (AASEAL) collection(218)

    Weapon - Spearthrower Groote Eylandt
    The Dugong, Inunguluna
    Weapon - Spear
    Weapon - Spear
  • Charles Hart collection(489)

    Hair and fibre string belt from Melville or Bathurst Island
    Bent bark armband from Melville or Bathurst Island
  • Springfield Merino Stud collection(166)

    Prize card awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, 1889
    Certificate awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, 1889, First Prize
    First Prize card awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, Wagga Wagga, 1887
    Special Prize card awarded at the Murrumbidgee Annual Show, Wagga Wagga, 1887
  • Woodleigh Shorthorn Stud collection(85)


    The Woodleigh Shorthorn Stud Collection is an extensive collection of trophies, ribbons, medals, badges, prize certificates, showing equipment and stud cattle photographs. The items are associated with a beef shorthorn stud established by the Davis family of the Corowa district in the early 1950s, and are in good condition.

    These objects record a recent expression of a long tradition of showing stud livestock at agricultural shows in Australia and Britain. Stud competitions at annual shows in Australian cities and regional centres enabled the gradual improvement of sheep and cattle herds. Shorthorn cattle proved adaptable and hardy in Australia, and became one of the dominant breeds. The Woodleigh Shorthorn Stud Collection helps to record the successful establishment of the shorthorn breed in Australia and the role of agricultural shows in enabling the improvement of cattle breeds. The collection also reflects the dramatic changes experienced by the rural sector in the second half of the twentieth century as tightening economic conditions forced many rural families, including the Davis family, to sell their properties.

  • Pierre Cavalan collection(1)

    Gorget me not, a contemporary artwork in the form of a breastplate, made by Pierre Cavalan

    The Pierre Cavalan Collection consists of a contemporary brass neckpiece with handmade brass rings engraved with the description "Elizabeth the last Queen of Australia'. The piece is entitled 'Gorget me not'. It echoes the form and style of historical breastplates given to Australian Indigenous people by settlers during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

    This object was made in the late 1990s by Pierre Cavalan, a French-born, Australian-resident jeweller. The object was selected for the 18th National Craft Acquisition Award exhibition in 1998. It is significant as a contemporary response by a non-Indigenous artist to the body of earlier breastplates given out to Indigenous people. In the context of the late 1990s political moves to establish Australia as a republic, the artist has created a piece with ironically casts Queen Elizabeth II as the 'last Queen of Australia' and recipient of a breastplate.

  • Springfield - Faithfull Family collection(3501)

    Fingal's Cave, Staffa
    Sketch depicting a landscape, river and boat.
    Ladies black patent[?] leather right shoe, with black and red beading on the front and straps

    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.