Collection Highlights

This chaise longue is part of an 11-piece drawing room suite made for the Pollock family, wealthy proprietors of Gympie’s Lady Mary mine. It is carved from yellowwood. Other pieces in the suite are carved from Queensland maple and white cedar.

It is possible that the furniture was made by Matthew Fern, as it is similar in quality and style to the Glengallan sideboard at QAGOMA and the Carey davenport at the QWHA.

Currently on display: Yes

This prosthetic leg and ankle joint is from St Helena Island penal settlement. It was not unusual for prisoners to have wooden feet, legs, hooks and pegs to replace amputated limbs. In an era where medicine, and especially methods of treating grievous injury, were far less advanced, it was more common to resort to amputation.

Currently on display: Yes

This handsome cedar box is ornamented both inside and out with inlaid Queensland timbers in various geometric patterns. The box, designed for storing needlework materials and equipment, was made in the workshop of pioneer Brisbane builder Andrew Petrie (1798 – 1872) for his only daughter Isabella Cuthbertson Petrie (1833 – 1910).

Currently on display: Yes

This collection comprises 25 pieces of hand-built earthenware of various shapes, sizes and glazes by the Brisbane potter Muriel MacDiarmid. They are drinking and storage vessels – jugs, bottles, ewers and flasks – inspired by ancient and traditional pottery from across the globe. Not only hand-built using ‘slab’ and ‘coiling’ techniques, the pieces are individually decorated with painted, relief or incised ornament, and, in some cases, verse or folksy quotations.

Currently on display: No

This sterling silver model wheelbarrow was presented to Sir Samuel Griffith in 1887 when he turned the first sod for the Maryborough–Gayndah railway. It was manufactured by the Brisbane jeweller Charles Allen Brown.

Currently on display: Yes

This signal cannon is one of several items in the collection from the Queensland Government’s paddle steamer QGSY Lucinda, used in 1885 – 1921. It was onboard the Lucinda in March 1891 that delegates from the First Australasian Convention, including Queensland’s Premier Sir Samuel Griffith, drafted the federal constitution while cruising on the Hawkesbury River.

Currently on display: Yes

These convict leg irons were found during excavations at Brisbane’s GPO in 1965. They date from the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement, 1824 – 1842.

Currently on display: Yes

This fretwork box was made by a prisoner on St Helena Island in Moreton Bay, using cedar from the wreck of the Cambus Wallace. The box was given to Robert Stewart Kerr, engineer on the Otter, which carried supplies to the island.

Currently on display: Yes

A set of medals belonging to Commander Eric Feldt OBE, RAN (1899 – 1968), Head of Coastwatchers in New Guinea in the Second World War. The Coastwatchers were Allied operatives stationed on islands in the Pacific during the Second World War to observe enemy movements.

Currently on display: No

A full-bottomed wig worn by Sir Samuel Walker Griffith (1845 – 1920). He was Premier of Queensland from 1883-88 and again from 1890-93. He was appointed as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1983, and was made the first Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia in 1903, remaining until his retirement in 1919.

Currently on display: Yes

In 1863, the immigrant vessel Queen of the Colonies was blown off course from Moreton Bay to Moffat Headland at Caloundra. It is believed they carved the name of their ship into a pandanus tree so later visitors to the beach would know their fate. They were fortunately rescued after a fortnight.

Currently on display: Yes

A longcase eight-day clock with a painted moon face dial, manufactured by clockmaker John Pattison at Halifax, near Leeds, England, c.1810. The dialmaker was William Whittaker.

Currently on display: Yes