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11342 Model of gold nugget found at Temora 1884, plaster, maker unknown, New South Wales, Australia, 1884-1885. Click to enlarge.

Model of a gold nugget discovered in New South Wales in 1884

Made
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 these models 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.

11342

Object Statement

Model of gold nugget found at Temora 1884, plaster, maker unknown, New South Wales, Australia, 1884-1885

Physical Description

Plaster of paris model of a gold nugget. The nugget is smooth irregular shape.

Old label reads:
Obtained at Temora, New South Wales,
Gross weight, 168 ozm 2 dwt,
(See Mines Report, 1884, p.15)
Found 1884'

Marks

Black ink numbering to surface '152'

Dimensions

Height

70 mm

Width

120 mm

Production

Made

Notes

Possibly one of 15 model nuggets purchased in 1885 from James White.

History

Collected (natural history)

Source

Credit Line

Gift of The Australian Museum, 1886

Acquisition Date

1 June 1886

Cite this Object

Harvard

Model of a gold nugget discovered in New South Wales in 1884 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 30 September 2020, <https://ma.as/1537>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/1537 |title=Model of a gold nugget discovered in New South Wales in 1884 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=30 September 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}
This object is currently on display in Collection Gallery 2 at the Museums Discovery Centre.

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.