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Constable, Wellington

This sand-cast brass gorget was made to last which is suggested by its heavy weight in comparison with other gorgets. The surfaces of this gorget are very worn and scratched which indicates that it was subjected to some heavy wear.

Engraved breastplate.
Tommy. Constable, Wellington

The style of decoration and lettering suggests a mid-19th century date for its production. The motifs of an earl’s coronet and swan rising are borrowed from English heraldic devices and are reminiscent of the designs on military gorgets. The bird may have had some significance to Tommy, possibly as a totem, and was incorporated for that reason.

The inscription suggests that Tommy was a police constable at Wellington, New South Wales. It is also possible that Tommy was Tommy Wellington or Constable Wellington.

There is an Aboriginal family with the name Wellington mentioned frequently in Jimmie Barker’s autobiography [1]. But the way the inscription is punctuated appears to confound this theory.

Service rewards

Read more about Tommy, who may have been a police tracker or member of the Aboriginal police.

Service rewards

Footnotes

[1] J Barker, The Two Worlds of Jimmie Barker: the Life of an Australian Aboriginal 1900–1972, Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra, 1980.

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