Lustre: Pearling & Australia

Lustre : Pearling & Australia is a touring exhibition from Western Australia.

It has been to Melbourne, Sydney & Townsville and is currently at the National Museum of Australia in Canberra until the 22nd July.  Lustre's next stop will be the South Australian Maritime Museum.

Lustre delves into the gritty human story of pearling in Broome, weaving together intersecting strands of Aboriginal, Asian and European histories to reveal insights into one of Australia's oldest industries.

Discover the intriguing stories behind northern Australia's unique pearling tradition, immerse yourself in the qualities of the shell itself, its evolution and habitat, and the people who have collected and harvested these treasures from Saltwater Country.

Among the exhibits is a panel of mother of pearl buttons with examples from the 18th to the 20th Century, a drilled shell and accompanying buttons, and a Pearly King costume on loan from a museum in the U.K.

 

 

Pinctada Maxima Shell with ormolu decoration - French 1930's
Pinctada Maxima Shell with ormolu decoration - French 1930's
Drilled Shell & Finished Buttons
Drilled Shell & Finished Buttons
Large Button circa 1810;  Small Button circa 1960
Large Button circa 1810; Small Button circa 1960
Late 18th Century Button - Probably French
Late 18th Century Button - Probably French