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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

Collection Explorer



  • Maree Marsden (Parry) collection(10)

    Weymouth bit with curb rein
    Pair of Baxters ladies riding boots
    Chin strap for bridle
    John Brush saddle

    The Stephen Marsden collection consists of a pair of Baxters riding boots, John Brush saddle with girth straps, crupper, stirrups, snaffle bit with bridle with reins, and Weymouth bit with reins, used by actress Maree Marsden during her recreational riding in Victoria during the 1940s to 1960s.

    The saddle and accompanying items were designed for strength to allow a smaller rider to control larger horses, especially during hunting rides. Marsden participated in hunts at Oaklands Hunt Club, north of Melbourne. Marsden began acting in Melbourne theatres during her teenage years, and from the1940s to the 1960s toured with the JC Williamson Theatre Company. In 1947, Marsden secured a role in Arthur Grenville Collin's film 'Strong is the Seed', the life story of agricultural scientist William Farrer, as Nina De Salis, Farrer's wife, with Marsden's ability to ride considered an asset and her own horse Rumba appearing in the film.