Aboriginal breastplace for ‘King John Cry, Chief of the Duedolgong Tribe, Argyle’
This breastplate is a crescent-shaped brass breastplate with a hole at the edge of each horn to attach a chain. Edmund Milne was born in England and later immigrated to Queensland. He had had personal contact with Aboriginal people throughout his life, from when he lived in Queensland and, from the late 1860s, in New South Wales. This contact may have led him to recording the names of Aboriginal people associated with particular objects in his collection, at a time when this was rarely done. Milne seems to have begun actively collecting Indigenous artefacts in the early 1880s and was still acquiring objects a few months before his death in 1917. In his will, Milne left his ‘Anthropological collection’ to the ‘first Federal Museum opened in the Federal Capital’. The collection remained at Ryde until early 1931 when it was acquired by the Australian Institute of Anatomy in Canberra. It remained there until the Institute's collections were transferred to the National Museum of Australia in 1985.