- “What are the most precious relics of Australia’s past? Phar Lap’s heart? Ned Kelly’s armour? Nellie Melba’s tiara? Or could it be the stern post of the Endeavour - an amorphous half-rotted log of wood, part of which has actually been taken to the moon. No-one but an Australian could understand the mystical significance of a tiny earthenware jar that held something called Vegemite in the 1920s, or the fairly ordinary looking lump of willow, split at the bottom, but which bears the magical signature Don Bradman, and which once hit enough cricket balls around an oval to make up 452 runs not out in one amazing innings in 1930. Australian Icons contains an extraordinary collection of objects, some magnificent, some tatty, some amusing, some poignant, each of which has had a significant part to play in the Australian consciousness.
- In all, one hundred such hallowed objects have been gathered together to create this unique collection - cultural icons ranging from our oldest boomerang, preserved in a peat swamp for 10,000 years, to Paula Stafford’s bikini which helped shape the moral climate of a nation trying to be modern. Here you can find the pen that signed the Proclamation which made Australia a nation, Captain Bligh’s amazing diary, Pavlova’s pointe shoe, the first Victa lawn-mower and the Hill’s Hoist, the original words of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and ‘My Country’, the first Holden and the oldest European relic of our history, Dirk Hartog’s plate. These relics are lovingly preserved in dozens of different institutions in Australia and around the world but here they can be seen all at once for the first time.”--Book jacket.