09 November 2011

The Charles T Fairthorne Travelling Collection of Natural History Curiosities

OPENING: Wednesday 16th November 5-7pm
EXHIBITION: Thursday 18th November to Saturday 10th December

Charles T Fairthorne, old friend and travelling companion of Lord Coconut, amassed a collection of Natural History curiosities during his world travels in the 19th century. As a naturalist, entomologist, geologist and prominent member of the anthropological community, he subsequently travelled the world with his private collection of Natural History curiosities to raise money to fund one of his adventures which searched for the illusive ‘coconut head hunter’ tribe in New Guinea. 

Celebrating his travelling collection of curiosities, our in-house jewellers and artisans have been inspired to create these wonderful pieces of jewellery, prints and sculpture.

Beth Croce
Sterling Silver, cognac diamonds & volcanic obsidian base
Size: 18cm L x 10cm H x 10cm W

The bipedal therapod, ancestor to today’s birds, is one of the most beloved of the dinosaurs. This piece was inspired by tangible legacies of Prehistoric times “diamonds and dinosaur fossils” whose inauspicious beginnings were dull carbon and decaying bodies. Forces of heat, time and pressure have transformed ancient detritus into valuable objects. Likewise heat and centrifugal force were used to transform the hand carved wax model for this piece into solid sterling silver. The 37 small diamonds along its backbone represent the endurance of objects of beauty.
Fossil by Beth Croce

Suse Scholem
Bone cufflinks
Bone, Coral, Tree Sap, Fine Silver and Sterling Silver
Size: 2.5cm l X 1.5cm W (irregular)
$299 pair

This set of olde world cufflinks make dynamic yetrespectful use of complimentary natural materials – sun bleached bone, crushed tree sap and washed up coral. Remnants of nature, captured in moments of decay, and translated to a wearable aesthetic. Such fragments are unique and imperfect. Dramatic and intriguing in design, these cufflinks would compliment a suit of any era. The sparkle of the sap echoes the iridescence of rubies or blood, set and trapped within an abject casing of bone and silver.

Bone cufflinks by Suse Scholem

Wunder pin
Terracotta, Organic material and Silver Steel
Size: 2cm diameter with 5cm pin

Evoking a sense of mystery, this pin is unique in structure and material. Made using natural
terracotta formed by the terrain of the Nullabor, mounted on sterling silver and mild steel, then
covered in an intricate layer of white cocoons created by the 'lerp psyllid'. These pesky insects attack
native flora and must be eliminated before they contribute to the decay or death of a tree. Inspired
to combine these natural materials, Suse Scholem creates a captivating dimensional landscape. This
organic tie/lapel pin is a one off piece, perfectly fitting in aesthetic and composition for Fairthorne's
Collection of Natural Curiosities.

Wunder pin by Suse Scholem

Justin Siow
Allomyrina dichotoma (Japanese rhinoceros beetle)
One single rectangular sheet of copper
Size: 5cm H x 13cm L x 12.5cm W

Also known as kabutomushi, Allomyrina dichtoma is a species of rhinoceros beetle found in Japan, Korea, Taiwan and China, named for its characteristic horn used in fighting other beetles during mating season and for digging. These beetles are often kept as pets and are a popular subject of gambling much like Siamese fighting fish.

Allomyrina dichotoma by Justin Siow

Andrew V Weatherill
Sea Dragon
2011 – edition of 8
Limited edition etching with acquatint. Printed on Hahnemuhle fine art paper.
Size: image 12.5cm H x 22.5cm W  frame 32.5cm H x 42.5cm W
$170 framed
$115 unframed

The leafy sea dragon or Glauerts Seadragon, Phycodurus eques, is a marine fish in the family Syngnathide, which also includes seahorses. Its name is derived from the long leaf-like protrusions that extend from its body. These protrusions mimic seaweed and serve as camouflage for the fish. Specimen collected at Point Lonsdale (back beach) Victoria.

Sea Dragon etching by Andrew V Weatherill

Justine Austen
150 Flies in a Jar
Sterling Silver and found object
Size: 15.5cm H x 10.5cm W x 10.5cm D
$25 per fly

150 Flies in a jar by Justine Austen

Gold fly in a Jar  X 2 jars
18ct Yellow Gold and jar
Size: large – 6cm high x 2.5cm diameter small - 4cm high x 2cm diameter
$105 per jar
Gold Fly in a jar by Justine Austen
Gold Fly in a jar by Justine Austen

Gold Fly on a Cake
18ct Yellow Gold and doll’s cake
Size: 2.5cm diameter, 1.5cm high
Lilliput is an island widely written about by Jonathan Swift, who documented the travels of surgeon and captain Lemuel Gulliver. Lilliput is inhabited by a race of tiny people who are roughly one-twelfth the height of normal humans. The Comonas Flyas contained in this jar were captured using a sticky sugar solution. To the inhabitants of Lilliput the Comonas Flyas is larger than a blowfly would appear to a human. There were found to be a small number of gold flies, which could only be caught with expensive sweet treats, these are referred to as Notsocomanas Flyas. There is much work yet to be done to scientifically classify these insects.

Gold Fly on a cake by Justine Austen

Justine Austen
Trilobite cufflinks
Sterling Silver and Trilobite
Size: 1.5cm W x 2cm L

The name Trilobite means "three lobes" because of the three lobes across the top of their head. The trilobites were among the most successful of all early animals, some moved over the sea bed as predators, scavengers or filter feeders and some swam, feeding on plankton for over 270 million years. When trilobites are found, generally only the exoskeleton is preserved, they range in length from 1mm to 720mm.

Trilobite cufflinks by Suse Scholem

Katzinka Tschierschky
A SIP medal brooch
Sterling Silver setting and brooch fitting, 14 x 12mm oval citrine and found object juice bottle top
Size: 4.5cm diameter brooch, 4cm long pin

My good friend Charles T Fairthorne was awarded this medal for his discovery of Phyllium bioculatum in Malaysia. Later, during the archaeological excavation of Constantinople, he wore it constantly as a totem of good luck. Fairthorne would return to his barracks and place his hand furtively on the citrine, all the better, he thought, to absorb the healing power of this precious stone. The medal was considered by Fairthorne to be his greatest reward - until, ironically, he developed an unusually late allergy to orange blossoms, and was forced for the sake of his health to place it in his Natural History Collection.

A SIP medal brooch by Katzinka Tschierschky

Tim Murray
Inlaid Scarab pendant
Ancient red malle inlaid with red coral, lapis lazuli, malachite, sterling silver
Size: 2cm diameter pendant with 40cm long chain

An inlaid ornament composed of a winged scarab holding a sun's disc in its forefeet and a 'kha'-sign in its back feet, made from turned ancient red mallee inlaid with red coral, lapis lazuli and malachite. The 'kha'-sign is flanked by papyrus umbels whose silver inlayed stems surround and unite the three symbols. The design represents the prenomen of Senusret II, Kha-kheper-Re.

Scarab Beetle pendant by Tim Murray

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