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Plaster death mask of the head of bushranger Ned Kelly

Object type

Object number

Plaster death mask of the head of bushranger Ned Kelly, including the neck and partial right shoulder.

Collection name
Dale White collection

Collection statement of significance
The Dale White Collection comprises one Ned Kelly death mask. The mask was formerly owned by artist Max Meldrum (1875-1955) and may have been one of several replicas that he made from an 'original' that was used as a drawing model.

Kelly was hanged at Melbourne Gaol on the morning of 11 November 1880. Immediately after his body was taken down from the gallows, his hair and beard were shaved off and a mould taken of his head by Maximilien Kreitmayer. There may also have been other moulds taken. It is rumoured, for example, that at least one was taken by students of the School of Anatomy at the University of Melbourne. The mask is a unique three-dimensional representation of one of Australia's better-known historical figures, created shortly after his death.

Edward 'Ned' Kelly

Max Meldrum
Max Meldrum previously owned this death mask.

Place of event
Melbourne Gaol, Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Date of event
Ned Kelly was hung at Melbourne Gaol


Width: 210mm
Height: 280mm
Depth: 190mm

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