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Material acquired and approved by Council 1 July 2002 30 June 2003
Two panels for collecting pearl shell
The panels are from Mr Casper Aitken in Broome. The pearl shell industry boomed in the Torres Strait from the 1920s with demand from Europe and North America for pearl shell products such as buttons. However, with the introduction of plastic, the industry began to decline and Islanders then moved to Western Australia and further south of the Torres Strait.
Two linocut prints
The prints: Dying Industry and Lagua Mabaigau Malu Aidel by Mr David Bosun from Kubin Village, Moa Island are Linocut Kaidarral. Mr Bosun is one of the founding members of the first Torres Strait Islander artists' co-operative the Mualgau Minnaral Artist Collective.
The two prints demonstrate a young person's view on the changing physical environment in the Torres Strait including the declining crayfish industry, the effects of commercial fishing, the impact of the erosion of animal life and the contamination of food for the local people.
Mr Bosun's artwork is an expression of Torres Strait Islander culture under the guidance and approval of the Mualgau Elders. Linocut print is one of the major forms of contemporary expression of Torres Strait Islander culture today.
This contemporary tapestry was made by Janet Brereton (1933-1992), one of Australia's leading textile artists, winner of the first national crafts competition Crafts 75. She was involved in the fibre movement of the 1970s-1990s and set up several tapestry workshops including the Brunswick tapestry workshop in 1969 and the Newcastle University's tapestry workshop in 1982. She was also involved in teaching and tutoring.
The tapestry is a political work dealing with the Maralinga tests of 1957 and 1962 and the relocation of the Indigenous population at that time. This work depicts the face of an Aboriginal girl behind wire mesh and is a good example of political activity by and on behalf of Aboriginal Australians during the 1980s and the 1990s.
Donation: Cultural Gifts Program
The Douglas Brymer collection comprises a comport (glass tray raised on a stem used for serving cake) made of amber glass. It features the Commonwealth Coat of Arms, rising sun, a man with a pick, a miner's cottage, waves and a sailing ship. It was made in England in 1887 and brought to Australia for the centenary in 1888.
The first centenary of European settlement was celebrated with ceremonies, parades, exhibitions, fireworks, banquets and church services. In Melbourne there was a Centennial International Exhibition, open from August 1888 to February 1889, which attracted nearly two million visitors. Numerous souvenirs marked the occasion, including dishes, plates and bowls with an unofficial version of the Australian Coat of Arms, historical publications and commemorative books, as well as other ephemera.
Kitchen utensils and canisters
The collection consists of a selection of kitchen utensils and canisters used by Mrs Chapman and are excellent examples of common kitchen utensils from the 1940s-1960s. The significance of these items stems from their ubiquitous nature. They are instantly recognisable as part of the material culture of Australia's domestic and suburban history.
Australia's character as a suburban society means that the suburbs have been important not only as an expression of national identity, but also as the physical and cultural landscape in which many Australians have grown up and in which they continue to live. The objects in the Mavis Chapman Collection are typical of those used in thousands of suburban homes around Australia. They will enhance any depiction of suburbia presented by the Museum.
Aboriginal sedge mat
The Susan Clarke Collection comprises one Aboriginal sedge mat in as-new condition. When the mat was acquired it retained the green colouring of the raw material but this has since changed to its current beige colouring.
The recent manufacture of the sedge mat is demonstrative of the fact that Ngarrindgerri women have continued to weave 'traditional' items. Weaving is one of the few areas of material culture that has been practised continuously in south-eastern South Australia from the time of first contact with non-Indigenous people through to the 21st century.
Douglas, Marion and Yonge, Pamela
Two suitcases and a child's farmyard set
This collection belonged to the Eddison family and the suitcases date from the early 20th century while the farmyard set dates from the mid-19th century.
The suitcases belonged to Walter Eddison, an Englishman who first came to Australia in 1913. The outbreak of the First World War forced the postponement of Eddison's plans to relocate his young family to Australia. Instead, he joined the AIF and served in Gallipoli and France. When Eddison finally returned to Australia with his family in 1919, he was allocated land in Canberra's Woden Valley as part of the soldier settlement scheme. Walter Eddison's story encompasses several Australian history themes migration, war, and land settlement.
The farmyard set is an excellent example of a child's toy. It illustrates childhood activities as well as the connection to 'home' maintained by migrants.
One pound tin of beef dripping
The tin of beef dripping (still sealed) was manufactured in Australia and sent from Hobart to England in 1942 as part of a Red Cross food hamper delivered to victims of the London bombing raids.
This object is an example of the Australian produce that was be found in most kitchens during the mid-20th century. Products such as this have now largely disappeared and are a sign of the change in Australian eating habits and lifestyles. The object also represents the relationship between Australia and Britain, particularly during the Second World War when the Australian Government agreed to keep Britain's larder stocked. The food hampers (of which this object was part) organised by volunteers were a further expression of Australia's sense of duty to and emotional bond with the 'mother country' or 'home'.
Two rabbit rifles
The rifles: one a pre-Second World War Belgian .22 single-shot and the other a post-war Australian made Lithgow 1B .22 single-shot were used by two generations of the Barker family who lived in the Lithgow and Lidsdale area west of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.
Albert Barker migrated from Liverpool in England and spent part of his working life in the Lithgow Small Arms Factory, a significant source of employment in the Lithgow and Blue Mountains area of New South Wales. Relatively low-cost mass-produced rifles, such as the model 1B, manufactured during the post-war years, were once the most common rabbiting rifles in Australia. In a long standing rural tradition, rabbit, either shot or trapped, was eaten on a regular basis by the Barker family. Albert passed the rifles to his son Robert Barker who passed them to his son-in-law Tom Heinsohn.
Herry, Peter and Wyn
Tractor and wagon
The Peter and Wyn Herry collection comprises a David Brown tractor and a wagon fitted out as a combined home and workshop. In 1935, Harold Wright, a young English migrant, converted a horsedrawn wagon into a travelling workshop and home that he christened the 'Road Urchin'. For the next 34 years he travelled the length and breadth of eastern Australia earning a living as a travelling tinker. In the beginning a single horse pulled his wagon but he soon fitted it onto the chassis of 1928 Chevrolet truck. Later it was towed by a David Brown tractor.
The Wright family, like thousands of others in the 1930s, took to the road to survive the Depression. Unlike most, however, they never did settle down and continued to travel until Harold Wright's death in 1969.
The Judy Hirst collection comprises a hand-tooled leather-bound photograph album, made by Jorgen (George) Christiansen and a hand-woven and embroidered purse, made by Ethel Adeline Nichol.
The photograph album was made by George in 1919 while he was at teacher's college in Melbourne, and clearly shows the influence of the local environment, with the cover displaying carefully designed motifs of the native Kangaroo Apple carved into the leather. The album contains photographs of George Christiansen, as well as images of Bendoc Primary School and its students, the rural landscape and activities such as emu hunting. The purse, made as a demonstration model while Ethel was sewing mistress at Bendoc Primary School is not only indicative of the fashion of the 1930s, but is also useful in demonstrating gender aspects of the education system of the 1930s.
The print Venomous Influence by Mr Ben Hodges from Cairns describes the young peoples' view of the changing environment, in particular the impact that westernisation has had on Torres Strait Islander people and their culture.
This work reveals the influence of the sea and its creatures and the relationship Torres Strait Islanders have with the sea as a defining element of their cultural identity. The print clearly demonstrates the link between Torres Strait Islanders living on the mainland and the continued connection to their culture.
This object is a semi-circular metal container with a lid, used to store clothes pegs. It was attached to the central post of a Hills hoist in Deakin, Australian Capital Territory when the donor moved into the house in 1960.
Although a small and seemingly insignificant object, the clothes peg container is an important detail that will enhance any depiction of suburbia presented by the Museum. Australia's character as a suburban society means that the suburbs have been important not only as an expression of national identity, but also as the physical and cultural landscape in which many Australians have grown up and in which they continue to live.
The Fran Johnston collection consists of a black, manual typewriter used by Dame Mary Gilmore during her time in the New Australia settlement in Paraguay, and upon her return home to Australia.
Dame Mary Gilmore's body of work includes prose, essays, newspaper columns and social commentary. When viewed as a whole, it provides the reader with not only an in-depth look at the issues facing Australia during Dame Mary's lifetime, but also a glimpse of her personality and life history, since the majority of topics she wrote about were written from first-hand experience.
The dari (headdress) from Mr John Ketchell in Broome demonstrates Torres Strait Islanders' adaptability to the environmental changes in Western Australia. Torres Strait Islander people moved to Western Australia from the 1960s when the pearling industry began to decline in Queensland.
Historically, the dari was worn by men during warfare, today it is worn during dance and ceremony. The dari, made in Broome, reveals the diversity in materials collected to produce cultural artefacts. This particular dari contains cockatoo feathers while those made in the Torres Strait would contain pigeon feathers.
McCormick Foods Australia
The McCormick Foods Australia collection comprises a Ford T-Model truck used to promote sales of Aeroplane Jelly. Emblazoned with a logo, and loudly broadcasting the Aeroplane Jelly jingle, it was a common sight at food fairs and advertising stunts throughout the 1980s. It was placed into storage in 1988.
'Bert' Appleroth developed Aeroplane Jelly from a backyard business into one of Australia's largest family-operated food manufacturers through the clever use of advertising gimmicks. In the process he also made Aeroplane Jelly a part of Australia's folk-lore alongside the FJ Holden, lamingtons and Vegemite. Aeroplane Jelly was acquired by the US Baltimore-based McCormick Foods Australia in 1995.
Philip MacFarlane offered to donate the book The Opium Smugglers: A True Story of Our Northern Seas by Ion Idriess when he visited the Museum during October 2001. Philip's father, the Reverend William MacFarlane, began work as a Missionary in the Torres Strait from the 1920s at St Paul's Mission on Moa Island. Philip MacFarlane and his family remain strongly connected to the Torres Strait and the people.
During the Reverend's time in the Torres Strait, he recorded photographs and diary entries of his work in the region and of the Torres Strait Islander people he had contact with. Many of the photographs have been donated to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and are valuable for researchers, students and Torres Strait Islanders. A number of those photographs were used in the Museum's Haddon exhibition in 2001-2002. The Opium Smugglers includes key information from Reverend MacFarlane.
Priest, Noel and Susan
One axe, one boar tusk ornament and one necklace
This collection comprises one Mount Hagen axe, one boar tusk ornament and one seed and dog's teeth necklace. These ethnographic objects were collected by Mr Noel Priest while on holiday visiting his brother in Papua New Guinea in 1996-1997. Mr Priest purchased the necklace and ornament at the bus stop at Goroka where three elderly men had artefacts for sale on the ground in front of them. The axe was purchased at Baiyer River National Park where a Sing-Sing, a large ceremonial gathering characterised by feasting, dancing and singing, happened to be on at the time of Mr Priest's visit.
This axe was carried to the Sing-Sing. By virtue of its purchase by an Australian citizen its use changed from being an everyday item in one culture to a prized memento in another.
Reads Rare Bookshop
This collection consists of a copy of Maclurcan's Cookery Book: A Collection of Practical Recipes Specially Suitable for Australia by Mrs Hannah Maclurcan, a first edition published in Townsville in 1898.
Hannah Maclurcan was renowned as one of Australia's best cooks at the turn of the 19th century, and was well-known as keeper of the Queen's Hotel in Townsville and later the Wentworth Hotel in Sydney. Her book was British in style but she also paid particular attention to recipes for Australian fish and seafood, tropical fruits and game, indicating her interest in adapting British traditions to Australian conditions. The popularity of Mrs Maclurcan's cookbook during the Federation period indicates its importance in understanding histories of taste and cuisine in Australia.
Ross, Neil, Lynette and Barry
Toolbox and associated tools
This timber and canvas toolbox and associated tools belonged to Alfred Ross who worked with the Government Ordnance Factory in Maribyrnong from 1933 until his death in 1979. The Maribyrnong Defence Explosives factory complex, which includes the Ordnance Factory, has been placed on the Register of the National Estate.
The Neil, Lynette and Barry Ross collection makes an important contribution to the documentation of industrial Australia, particularly to the role of a federal government agency in the industrial development of Australia during times of war and peace.
Saibai Island Council
Two dance costumes
The collection consists of two full dance costumes, one adult and one child. They were offered to the Museum after the performance of the Saibai Island Dance Group Moeyoengu Koekperr during the inaugural Tracking Kultja: The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Festival in 2001 .
The costumes relate to the Islander trade networks and are an expression of the importance of sea and winds that facilitate trade. The headdress, dhibal, is one of the most important items in the range of Islander dance costume items and is indicative of the rank of these costumes. The costumes also indicate the continuation of traditional culture while employing and adapting to a range of new materials.
The pearl shell carvings from Mr Tony Shibasaki are from Thursday Island in the Torres Strait. They illustrate the contemporary expression of Torres Strait Islander culture. They also represent the diversity of the pearl shell industry throughout the Torres Strait with the boom in the 1920s and decline during the 1960s.
The Morning Star carving represents the iconic symbolism of the Torres Strait Islander dari (headdress) unifying the people of the Torres Strait Islands. The dari was traditionally worn by men during warfare and today is worn for dancing and ceremony. The Morning Star (or five-pointed star) represents the five island groups in the Torres Strait. The dari carving with drum at the bottom shows the diverse style of headdress in the Torres Strait. These two particular works reveal the cultural expression of contemporary forms through carving.
Gun and revolver
The Stuart Smith collection comprises a 'cane gun' and a Harrington and Richardson Young America revolver that were acquired by Laic and Isabella Smith in the 1890s. They reflect the Smiths' concern with personal safety. Laic (1848-1919) was living on Kyeamba station at the time that 'Mad Dan' Morgan was terrorising the district in January 1865. This experience no doubt engendered an acute awareness of personal safety in him.
The use of guns as weapons for self-defence is one of the key elements in the ongoing debate about control of the acquisition and use of firearms. The two Smith collection weapons are from a time when controls were much less restrictive than today. The story of their purchase and subsequent use by the Smith family can contribute to the gun control debate.
These five travel posters were collected by Professor Peter Spearritt who has had a long-term interest in collecting travel and advertising posters as examples of Australian popular culture.
The poster as a form of advertising was popular in Australia throughout the 20th century. These posters are excellent examples of Australian advertising posters and date from the 1930s to the 1960s. They promote air, car, rail and sea travel. The five posters provide a snapshot of poster advertising and reflect the importance of transport and tourism to Australia.
Donation: Cultural Gifts Program
The pack saddle was used by Charles Carter, a brumby trapper and miner who led a solitary life in the Snowy Mountains for most of the period between 1898 and 1952, the year of his death.
The pack saddle is a unique item which appears to have been hand crafted by its owner, Charles Carter. It still holds Carter's personal belongings and tools of his trade as a trapper (crockery, pocket knife, spare leather bridle and horseshoe). The saddle is significant as one of the few possessions belonging to Carter, who became somewhat of a local identity due to his elusive behaviour, his clashes with neighbours over land use and stock ownership, his eccentric pursuit of a cure for cancer and his published manifestos on political and social issues. His pack saddle also speaks of a self-sufficient lifestyle in the remote parts of the Snowy Mountains and the importance of brumby trapping in the region in economic, social and environmental terms.
Sydney Olympics material
The Sydney Olympics Material Collection comprises 32 miscellaneous pieces of Olympic memorabilia from the Sydney 2000 games. These include items from the opening and closing ceremonies, such as banners, flags and costumes, as well as sporting equipment from the games, such as a set of relay batons, athletic starting blocks, boxing gear and a canoe.
The Sydney 2000 Olympics were held from 15 September to 1 October, and were the biggest event staged in Australia in 2000. The games were attended by over one million spectators and watched on television by billions of people around the world. They were considered a huge success both nationally and internationally, with many Australians feeling a great sense of pride in their culture and country.
One baggy green Queensland Cricket Association hat
Don Tallon (1916-1983) has been acclaimed as the greatest gloveman and doyen of wicket keepers by followers and commentators of Australian cricket. His achievements in the field of cricket have earned him a significant place not only in Queensland cricket history, but also at the national and international level.
Tallon's story, evoked by the distinctive Queensland cap, is powerfully connected to Australia's sporting and cultural history. Tallon's career is associated with the halcyon days of Australian cricket. Tallon achieved phenomenal rates for keeping during his time playing for Queensland and Australia as statistics attest. Keith Miller is supposed to have said of Tallon that he was to wicket keeping what Don Bradman was to batting and Bill O'Reilly to bowling.
This dugong carving by Mr Paul Tom from Kubin Village, Moa Island in the Torres Strait illustrates Torres Strait Islanders' relationship with clan totems. The carving is made from wongai wood found within the Torres Strait.
The dugong is a sea mammal and is a main source of food for the Torres Strait Islanders as well as pertaining to cultural practices. The dugong is one of the clan totems used in ceremonies including initiation, medicinal purposes, dancing, legends, custom and laws. The dugong is also referred to as dhangal by the Western Islanders from the Western Island language Kala Lagaw Ya.
The badge was worn during the industrial action staged by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) in 25 May 1996.
The badge documents the wave of industrial action that followed the Federal Election in 1996. There were three major CPSU rallies held in May, June and August of 1996 as well as the Australia-wide Public Service strike.
Westcott, David No. 3
Plate and jug
The David Westcott collection comprises a Doulton green print plate and jug commemorating Australian Federation, 1901.
The Federation of Australia was celebrated with great enthusiasm. On Tuesday, 1 January 1901 the Commonwealth of Australia came into being, beginning eight days of military parades, sporting events, concerts, fireworks, banquets and church services. Celebrations also followed the opening of the Federal Parliament in Melbourne in May 1901, with Federation souvenirs, ranging from teaspoons to emu eggs, badges, medals, and pottery, as well as postcards and printed ephemera issued by both government and private organisations.
The plate and jug, which are decorated with images of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, are excellent examples of the souvenirs produced during the Federation celebrations.
Westcott, David No. 4
This collection consists of five convict bricks that were purchased at public auction. The vendor is a private collector who advised that at least two of the bricks are from the Windsor/Richmond area of New South Wales.
The convict era has long been of interest to historians but ordinary Australians have often been less than willing to embrace their convict origins. The shame of convict ancestry has only recently been replaced by pride. It is perhaps partly due to this shame that little material culture from the convict period remains. Convict-made bricks, because of their very nature, are among these few surviving objects. They provide a link to the earliest days of the British settlement of Australia.
Westcott, David No. 5
The Tichborne plate is a small shallow clear pressed glass plate featuring a portrait of Arthur Orton. The text around the underside rim of the plate reads, 'Would you be surprised to find that this is Tichborne'. The plate was manufactured to commemorate the famous 'Tichborne Claimant' trial that took place between 1872 and 1874.
Arthur Orton, alias Thomas Castro (1834-1898) was a butcher from Wagga Wagga, New South Wales who travelled to England in 1866 claiming that he was the long-lost son of the Tichborne family, Sir Roger Tichborne, baronet and heir to the Tichborne estates. In 1854, Sir Roger had set sail from South America on a ship bound for Jamaica and was thought to have been lost at sea.
When Arthur Orton arrived in England and claimed he was Sir Roger Tichborne, he was accepted by Lady Tichborne, but other family members were not convinced. Following the death of Lady Tichborne, the case went to trial and there ensued the longest and most expensive case in British legal history. The claimant was finally convicted of perjury and sentenced to 14 years imprisonment. However, when Arthur Orton died in 1898, the Tichborne family consented to him being buried in the Tichborne vaults as Roger Tichborne, once again highlighting the ambiguity surrounding his true identity.
The case captured people's imagination in both Britain and Australia. The Australian people were fascinated by the case, intrigued that a man from the Antipodes could rise to become an English baronet. The case inspired songs, skits and novels and entered popular culture through comics, games, toys and figurines. The Tichborne plate is a rare and interesting memento of an intriguing story in Australian 19th century legal and social history.