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Queen of Durham

This simple gorget made from sawn light brass plate is notable because it is one of only two in the Museum’s collection which were made for women and the only one made for an Aboriginal ‘queen’.

Engraved breastplate.
Ada Derika, Queen of Durham

The style of engraved block lettering used for the inscription, blackened with a filling of pitch, is quite modern. The whole is in excellent condition with even the machine-made brass chain intact. The gorget’s modern appearance suggests it was made in the twentieth century.

No information about Ada Derika has been discovered. However, Durham is probably Durham Downs near Thargomindah in Queensland. The connection is reinforced by the fact that the plate was presented to the Australian Institute of Anatomy by HS McCullagh of Durham Downs.

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