Runaway Success

‘Now I can’t fly but I’m telling you, I can run the pants off a Kangaroo.’ These are the beloved lyrics of John Williamson’s song, Old Man Emu, featured here in an original Australian release of the song’s sheet music. John Williamson AM was born into a wheat farming family in 1945. In 1965 Williamson […]

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From Ostrich to Emu Eggs

In 1866, the Danish-born silversmith Christian Ludwig Qwist sent a silver-mounted emu egg jug and drinking cups, made in his Hunter Street shop in Sydney, to the Intercolonial Exhibition in Melbourne. Qwist arrived in Melbourne in 1853, in the early years of the gold rush. He’d worked as a photographer and silversmith in the boom […]

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Take Two Emu Eggs

Two emu eggs to make a ‘bachelor tea set’ – one for the teapot, one half for the sugar bowl and the other for the cream jug. Was the cream jug ever used? It’s not likely. The fashion for goblets and cups made from silver mounted emu eggs reached its height in the second half […]

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Snake Handling

The sinuous silver snake that forms the handle of this claret ewer is poised to strike – but at what? The snake is focussed on the hinged lid of the ewer, which has a hole where perhaps a knob was once attached. Could the missing knob be the snake’s prey, and could it have been […]

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Kathleen’s Sterling Bequest

Kathleen Lyttleton-Taylor’s (nee Regan) gift of eighteen stunning pieces of historic silverware, made to the Tamworth Regional Gallery in 1963, includes the works of twelve accomplished Australian silversmiths. These makers originate from three different Australian states and backgrounds, which gives the collection mixed stylistic and personal influence. The work of William Edwards of Melbourne; Evan […]

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The River People’s Lament

Artist and activist Badger Bates is a Barkandji elder from Wilcannia near the Barka (Darling) River in far western New South Wales. His people are river people and, as a result, much of his art focuses on the Barka and the people and animals that are dependent on its flow. Badger was born in 1947 […]

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