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Painted Gum Leaf - 'Anzac', 1915 Object Reg. No: ST 042396

Summary:
Alternative Name(s): Eucalpytus Leaf, Gumleaf, Artwork

Painted leaf from Gallipoli with the word 'Anzac' in gold and a coloured ribbon at the top of the leaf.

Several Australian artists painted on gum leaves for the war effort, and amateurs were also known to paint gum leaves to send to loved ones serving overseas. Among the artists was Lilla Reidy (1858-1933, aka Elizabeth Mary Ann Reidy), who exhibited with the Victorian Artists? Society in Melbourne from 1895 to 1910. In 1915 her work was described by the Weekly Times as 'showing a soldier?s head silhouetted in khaki, and a Red Cross flag'. In June 1918 'The Ladies Letter' in Punch noted that Lilla was president of 'a band of thirty women artists' who 'Previous to Anzac Day...used to meet regularly, making small bannerettes of white calico on which were painted emblems and battalion colours, by the subsequent sale of which they raised £4000 for soldiers? funds'. Lilla continued her work afterwards, painting soldiers' details on watered silk, adorned with a laurel wreath of gold and a sprig of gum blossom, available for sale to raise funds for soldiers? widows and children. 'Soldiers? sweethearts...have strikingly used them as panels on watered silk bags'.
Description:
Painted leaf from Gallipoli with the word 'Anzac' in gold and a multi coloured ribbon at the top of the leaf.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Returned Servicemen's League of Australia Limited (RSL) Victorian Branch, 1986
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 55 mm (Width), 180 mm (Length)

More information

Tagged with: world war i 1914-1918, military memorabilia
Themes this item is part of: Public Life & Institutions Collection
Primary Classification: MILITARY HISTORY
Secondary Classification: Service
Tertiary Classification: illustrations
Inscriptions: 'Anzac'
Place & Date of Event: Gallipoli Peninsula, Dardanelles, Turkey, circa 1915
Maker (Possible): Lilla Reidy
References: Margaret Birtley, 2014. 'Searching for patriotic souvenirs painted by Lilla Reidy in Melbourne during the first World War', http://margaretbirtley.com.au/searching-patriotic-souvenirs-painted-lilla-reidy-melbourne-first-world-war/, accessed 6/1/2014

?Australia Day Helpers?, Weekly Times, 7 August 1915, p. 9
?THE LADIES LETTER.?, Punch (Melbourne), 6 June 1918, p. 32

Comments

Margaret Birtley Posted on 05 Jan 2014 4:10 PM
Is this leaf really from Gallipoli? It looks more like an Australian gumleaf, such as were painted and sold in Melbourne in 1915 by Lilla Reidy to raise funds for the sick and wounded. This leaf, however, is more simply decorated than the description given here: 1915 'Australia Day Helpers.', Weekly Times (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 7 August, p. 9, viewed 5 January, 2014, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article132703207

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