The Robert Hamilton Mathews Collection: NSW, late 19th – early 20th centuries



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A collection of 171 Aboriginal stone artefacts mostly pounders, scrapers and axes and bullroarers collected by Robert Mathews in the late 19th – early 20th centuries.

In 1919 Miss Georgina Mathews donated 155 Australian Aboriginal stone artefacts (mostly pounders, scrapers and axes and almost all from NSW) to the Australian Museum. They had been collected by her late father, Mr Richard Hamilton Mathews (1841-1918). In 1929 she donated a further 16 Australian Aboriginal artefacts (including 12 bullroarers).

Robert Mathews (1841-1918), an Australian-born surveyor and ethnologist, worked mainly in rural NSW. From 1893 until his death he documented Aboriginal customs and beliefs. Now recognised as a founding figure in Australian social anthropology, Mathews studied Aboriginal kinship systems, mythology, rock art, material culture, languages and initiatory practices. He published around 200 articles of ethnographic data.

Australian Museum by appointment


Aboriginal stone artefacts; Archaeology

Indigenous Australian peoples

Coverage Spatial

New South Wales

Coverage Temporal




2012-05-30 23:42

2011-04-08 13:03