Australian Historical Art Fund & Heritage Government Residences

Royal Worcester Bone China Plates, 1917


Royal Worcester Porcelain Company established 1788
Artists: R Austin & W Hart, after original artwork by Marian Ellis Rowan, 1848–1922
Set of twelve plates, showing Kangaroo paw (Macropidia fuliginosa), Wattle (Acacia viscidula, Acacia triptera), Darling pea (Swainsona galegifolia), Tea tree (Acacia myrtifolia)England, 1917 bone china, handpainted, 21.6 x 21.8 x 2.1 cm,1994.3.1, 1994.3.2, 1994.3.4, 1994.3.5

This rare and complete service of twelve square-shape plates was hand-painted with Australian flora, mostly varieties of wattle, by R. Austin and W. Hart after Marian Ellis Rowan. The source for the decoration of the service were watercolours commissioned by Flavelle Brothers from the pre-eminent Australian watercolour artist, Marian Ellis Rowan, who specialised in painting Australian flora and fauna – unique to this series is a narrow Quaker grey matt border which further distinguishes the decoration.


Cameo Glass Comport Decorated with Gum Leaves, c.1900

Daum Brothers, Nancy, France
Auguste Daum (1853-1909) 
Antonin Daum (1864-1903)
Etched cameo glass
Height: 15cm

The Daum Company was founded in 1875 by Jean Daum (1825-1885). In 1878 he took possession of the glassworks near Nancy as payment for a debt and in hard times engaged the business and creative skills of his sons, Auguste (1853-1909) and Antonin (1864-1931) who were originally lawyers, to make the glassworks a great success. They were influenced at the Paris Exhibition of 1889 by the art glasswork of Emile Gallé and moved away from the production of glass for watches, windows and taverns to art glass. The Daum Company is now a public company known as Cristallerie Daum which still produces art glass.


Hall Stand, 1864,1886

Henry Tomlinson
William Kerr Thomson
Samuel Renwick
Cast iron, marble
Height: 221.0cm

This hall stand is an English design of 1864 by Henry Tomlinson of the Bath's Foundry, Rotterdam, Yorkshire. However leading Melbourne iron merchants, James Mc Ewan and Co imported the basic structure. They changed the applied decoration from cherubs and European motifs to Australian motifs such as Aboriginal heads encircled by ferns, trophies of game, fish and native weapons, a cockatoo, a kookaburra, fern trees and pairs of emus and kangaroos.


Sculpture of a Kangaroo, 1933

Charles E. Oliver
Bronze, marble
Height: 15.0cm

The kangaroo was considered an extraordinary animal and without comparison in the animal world when Captain Cook and Sir Joseph Banks first encountered it in 1770. Perhaps more than any other flora or fauna, the kangaroo came to symbolize Australia as a colony throughout the 19th century. It appeared in coats of arms and on every type of object from carved emu eggs to silver epergnes. There were an increasing number of kangaroo ornamented objects as the century came closer to Federation in 1901. This spirit of nationalism was also aroused by the Australian political movement of the time.


This selection represents a small sample of our collection. Our book detailing the collection is currently out of print.
An updated edition has been published in 2017.
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