Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

MAAS acquires Fedn Percy Marks bracelet

Photo credit: Marinco Kojdanovski, Powerhouse Museum.

Sparkling example of Federation jewellery, Australian Government Office for the Arts, 17 November 2020

A rare bracelet crafted in the early 1900s will now be on display for all Australians to see.

Support from the National Cultural Heritage Account has enabled the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) to purchase this historically significant bracelet.

The 18-carat gold bracelet is crafted from Australian gold and gems and includes a fine black opal.

The museum will bring to life the story of Australian jewellery design through this spectacular piece, created by the Vice Regal Jeweller Mr Percy Marks (1879 to 1935).

As one of the few surviving works by Marks, it is a fine example of Australian craftsmanship in the Federation period.

It was presented to Ms Alice Rawson, daughter of NSW Governor Vice-Admiral Sir Harry Holdsworth Rawson, in 1909.

Previously kept in private ownership in the United Kingdom, Australian researchers discovered its national significance through the National Library of Australia’s digital heritage portal Trove, which features a 1909 newspaper story about the bracelet.

The National Library received an additional $8 million from the Australian Government to support the ongoing development of the Trove portal in June this year, in recognition of its important role in capturing and preserving our heritage.

The Government’s National Cultural Heritage Account helps retain and protect Australia’s cultural heritage for future generations. Grants enable Australian cultural organisations to acquire significant cultural heritage objects for display and safe-keeping, with up to $500,000 available each year.

See also: Masonic presentation bracelet by Percy Marks

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2021
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