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10103 Gold nugget model, of 'Precious' nugget found Catto's Paddock, Berlin (now Rheola), Victoria, Australia, 1871, plaster, maker unknown, Australia, made 1871-1885. Click to enlarge.

Model of the Precious Nugget discovered in Victoria in 1858

Made in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1885.
When founded in 1880, the Technological, Industrial and Sanitary Museum was to be a showcase for 'all the products of useful art' from raw materials to finished products. When the Technological Museum opened in Ultimo in 1893, visitors ascended from economic geology on the ground floor through economic botany on the first floor to economic zoology on the top floor. The focus in economic geology was on Australia's raw materials and the methods used to process these into useful products. Gold, and the history of gold discoveries in Australia was highlighted in Bay 18 where a range of nuggets discovered in Victoria and New South Wales was displayed alongside models of the furnaces used in gold smelting. The display of copies of nuggets not only demonstrated the size and variety of nuggets uncovered it also appealed to visitors interest in the fortunes that had been made through their discovery.

This nugget is from a collection of 15 purchased from James White in Melbourne in 1885. Between 1885 and 1886 the Museum also commissioned a local model maker, Mrs AG Goodman, to make copies of New South Wales nuggets as well as commercial fruits and minerals. Today, models such as this one of the Precious nugget are a reminder that despite the hardships of the 1850s gold rushes, some people did strike it rich and the hope of uncovering such wealth kept hundreds of thousands of diggers constantly searching for new deposits in all the Australian colonies from 1851 up until the early 1900s.

Summary

Object No.

10103

Object Statement

Gold nugget model, of 'Precious' nugget found Catto's Paddock, Berlin (now Rheola), Victoria, Australia, 1871, plaster, maker unknown, Australia, made 1871-1885

Physical Description

Gold nugget model, of 'Precious' nugget found Catto's Paddock, Berlin (now Rheola), Victoria, Australia, 1871, plaster, maker unknown, Australia, made 1871-1885

A plaster of paris model of a large gold nugget 'No.144'. Painted in gold with a nobbly surface. The 'Precious' nugget was originally obtained at Catto's Paddock, Berlin (now Rheola), Victoria. Depth from the surface, 12 feet. Gross weight, 1717 03. Approx. value, 6868 sterling pounds. Found in January 5th 1871.

Marks

Model number '144' in black ink to surface

Dimensions

Height

105 mm

Width

160 mm

Production

History

Collected (natural history)

Rheola, Victoria 1858

Notes

The original nugget was found at Berlin (now Rheola) west of Bendigo in Victoria.

Cite this Object

Harvard

Model of the Precious Nugget discovered in Victoria in 1858 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 15 August 2020, <https://ma.as/133>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/133 |title=Model of the Precious Nugget discovered in Victoria in 1858 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=15 August 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.

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