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Scrimshaw powder horn

Kangaroo coursing

This scrimshaw powder horn shows a scene of kangaroo coursing, or hunting. It was probably made around 1836 by John Kelly, a soldier in the 28th North Gloucestershire Regiment of Foot, who arrived in New South Wales that year.  

This scrimshaw powder horn shows a scene of kangaroo coursing, or hunting.
Scrimshaw powder horn (detail) made by John Kelly, 1836. National Museum of Australia. Photo: Jason McCarthy.

A suitable pastime for gentlemen

Kangaroo coursing was a popular subject for colonial artists. Like British traditions of foxhunting, from which it derived, coursing was seen as an ‘aristocratic’ mode of hunting. It was regarded as a pastime suitable for gentlemen who wished to test their skill and their horse’s mettle riding across country, but did not have to worry too much if they did not bring home game to eat.

This scrimshaw powder horn shows a scene of kangaroo coursing, or hunting.
Scrimshaw powder horn made by John Kelly, 1836. National Museum of Australia. Photo: Jason McCarthy.
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