The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are advised that the MAAS website contains a range of material which may be culturally sensitive including records of people who may have passed away.
Aboriginal breastplates, like this one, are rare reminders of the relationships that once existed between the Indigenous population of Australia and the European colonists. These breastplates were similar in design to the gorgets worn by Officers in British Regiments and were tailor-made for the recipient As a result the inscriptions and motifs are significant records from the early colonial period right up to the 1930s when they appear to have stopped making breastplates.
This is a portrait of Signor Edoardo Majeroni who, with his wife, presented stage performances in theatres across Australia in 1876 and the 1880s. In this image he is dressed in a Russian military costume for his acclaimed role in a one-act play entitled 'The Old Corporal’ The play was performed in Sydney in 1876 and the photograph appears to have been taken by the Freeman Brothers Studio while the performances were fresh in the minds of Sydney-siders.