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A2355 Mug, commemorating Australian Federation, earthenware, made by Doulton & Co, Burslem, England, 1900, collected by Thomas Handcock Lennard. Click to enlarge.

Commemorative earthenware mug made by Doulton & Co

The Federation of the Australian colonies on 1 January 1901 inspired a wide range of commemorative wares celebrating both the 'birth' of the new nation and the abiding closeness of Australia and Britain. On one side of the mug a formal portrait of Queen Victoria has a British soldier on one side and an Australian on the other, symbolic of the agreement by which Britain supplied naval defence for Australia and Australian soldiers promised to defend the Empire. On the reverse is the only …


Object No.


Object Statement

Mug, commemorating Australian Federation, earthenware, made by Doulton & Co, Burslem, England, 1900, collected by Thomas Handcock Lennard

Physical Description

Earthenware mug with a cylindrical body, open mouth and stylised C-shaped handle with thumb rest. The exterior of the mug is white glazed with green transfer decoration including a profile bust portrait of Queen Victoria framed by a wreath, crown, light horseman and infantry man and the portrait medallions of Sir Henry Parkes, the Earl of Hopetoun and the Duke and Duchess of York. There is also a green transfer print of leaves on the handle.


Beneath Queen Victoria is 'AUSTRALIAN FEDERATION 1901'. Also printed on the exterior of the body under the handle is 'MAY THE UNION BETWEEN THE COLONIES / AND THE MOTHER-LAND, NOW / CEMENTED BY THEIR BLOOD, BE FOR / EVER MAINTAINED / Joseph Chamberlain'. On the base is the maker's mark 'DOULTON / BURSLEM / ENGLAND'.



87 mm


85 mm




Doulton & Co were one of the major producers of commemorative wares covering political and military events which were celebrated with a variety of mugs, jugs, busts, flasks, vases and teapots. The design for the Australian federation ceramics was by John Slater and John Shorter.



The Commonwealth of Australia was inaugurated on 1 January 1901 in a ceremony in Sydney's Centennial Park. The official signing of the documents followed a parade through the city streets from the Domain, along Macquarie Street and out through Pitt Street to Oxford Street. Fire fighters, police, stockmen, trade unionists, representatives of foreign governments, British Empire troops and Australia's first governor general, Lord Hopetoun, marched through the lavishly decorated streets watched by a crowd of 250,000. Ten plaster arches spanned the roadway representing aspects of Australian life. A special pavilion, designed by NSW Government Architect Walter Vernon was erected in Centennial Park for the Declaration of the Commonwealth and the swearing in of Lord Hopetoun, the first Prime Minister Edmund Barton and his ministry. The same pen, inkstand and table were used as had been used by Queen Victoria when she signed the Australian Commonwealth (Constitution) Act on 9 July 1900. The Ceremony ended with a massed choir singing God save the Queen and the Hallelujah chorus followed by 10,000 school children singing Advance Australia fair and Rule Britannia.


Credit Line

Gift of Thomas and Martha Lennard, 1921

Acquisition Date

31 May 1921

Cite this Object


Commemorative earthenware mug made by Doulton & Co 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 September 2021, <>


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