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King of Tchanning

Sawn from copper plate, this gorget is the only one in the Museum’s collection that was not made from brass. It is also the only gorget known to have been made outside Australia.

The maker’s mark on the reverse of the plate reads ‘Hughes and Kimber Manufacturers, London. E.C.’. Although it is decorated with the usual emu and kangaroo, they are stylistically quite different to the local product, and the kangaroo is the only one to be depicted with a joey in its pouch.

Engraved breastplate that reads 'Peter, King of Tchanning, presented by J. Ferrett Esq for 7 years faithful services'.
Peter, King of Tchanning

The dedication ‘presented by J. Ferrett Esq for 7 years faithful services’ suggests that Peter was involved with Ferrett’s pastoral enterprises. ‘Esq’ labels Ferrett as a landowner and ‘Tchanning’ may well have been a property name.

Unfortunately, although Edmund Milne attempted to obtain some information about the names on this gorget, he was unsuccessful. The reply to his letter of inquiry to HE Badgery, of the Sydney stock and station agents Pitt, Son and Badgery, only suggested Milne try to locate Harry Ferrett:

I ... have not been able to find out anything of the place, Tchanning or Peter or J Ferrett. I find there is a Harry Ferrett — Booval in Queensland but cant find any post town of that name, there is a Harry Ferrett certain and you might chance a line to him — and m[ay] find a post town named Booyal [sic]. I think near Maryborough Q — of Course I will still try and may get onto some Scent through old hands but it Sounds more South or West Australia to me. [1]


[1] Badgery, S and Esrom, H, letter to Mr Milne from Esrom, H and Badgery, S, dated 14 August 1941, manuscript, National Museum of Australia, EO Milne Collection, file no 85/310 folio 155.

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