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National Museum of Australia

Where our stories come alive

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Wooden carving of a dugong

1997.0060.0002

Wooden carving of a dugong

Object information

Physical description

A wooden carving of a dugong.

Statement of significance

The Odette O'Neill collection consists of twelve artefacts (including woven baskets, carvings and arrow heads) collected by Victor Stiskin on his travels between 1938 and 1961. The collection is in good condition.

Victor Stiskin was a French emigrant who came to Australia after his father commissioned him to purchase diamonds and precious stones on a world buying trip in the late 1930s. Stiskin travelled through England, Mexico, Brazil and the South Pacific before arriving in Sydney in 1938. Whilst in Australia Stiskin visited the McDonald Ranges and Alice Springs and met the Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira, purchasing a number of watercolour paintings from him. After he completed his travels Stiskin decided to reside in Australia permanently and he eventually married an Australian and started a number of businesses selling artefacts and antiques. He also continued to travel widely, going Pearl Diving off Thursday Island and trying his luck at Opal Mining in Cooper Pedy. Stiskin purchased objects from all the places he visited, thus assembling a collection of mementos that illustrated his travels and adventures.

Object information

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