Bulbous bladder-style dark leather water bottle that tapers from its reservoir to its neck. It has a seam around the edge, and a small leather loop is sewn into the seam on opposite sides. The bladder is sealed by a waxy band to a very dark brown turned animal horn spout, which has a white patch on one side. The horn cap is secured to the spout with coiled string. One face of the bladder has fine white crystalline deposits in the creases in the leather.
Robert O'Hara Burke collection
Many Australians consider the Burke and Wills story of great historical and cultural significance. The Victorian Exploring Expedition left Melbourne for the Gulf of Carpentaria in August 1860, led by Robert O'Hara Burke. An initiative of the Royal Society of Victoria, the costly and well-provisioned Expedition sought to make the first crossing from south to north of the Australian continent and claim prestige for the young and gold-rich colony of Victoria. In haphazard fashion the exploring party achieved its goal then finished in drama and tragedy with the death on Coopers Creek of Burke and his deputy William John Wills. Australians immediately invested Burke and Wills with heroic status. The men had braved the unsettling mystery and vastness of the Australian interior before dying in dramatic circumstances. As an item which helped Burke cross great stretches of dry terrain, the water bottle dramatically represents the various challenges faced by explorers and other settler Australians during the colonial period as they engaged with the natural realities of inland Australia.User
Leather, Horn, String