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King of Minnon

This is the finest gorget in the Museum’s collection. It is the work of a skillful engraver who left his name on the lower front of the plate, ‘Twemlow, engraver, Sydney’.

Engraved breastplate.
Billy Hippie, King of Minnon

The inscription and design are a very fine and artistic piece of work after the style of engraving on guns. The plate appears to have been sawn and finished by a craftsperson very conscious of proportions and finish. As a final luxury the brass gorget and chain were silver plated after the manner of military gorgets.

The design is similar to several other known gorgets in that it comprises a tableau acted out across the gorget. The theme, an Aboriginal stockrider chasing cattle, is unique in the Museum’s collection. However, similar designs are found on a few gorgets held elsewhere.

The scene is very dynamic — the man cracks a stockwhip over his head and jumps his fine horse over a log in pursuit of galloping cattle on the other side of the gorget. The dress of the man is notable in that he wears, in true 19th-century colonial Australian style, a cabbage tree hat, loose collarless shirt and long trousers. He rides barefoot which was typical of Aboriginal stockriders.

Kings and pastoral expansion

More information on Billy Hippie

Kings and pastoral expansion
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