Valuations of historical items

Museum Victoria DOES NOT provide valuations of historical items. But read on to find out who does…

How to get your item valued

For coin valuations, see our Question of the Week.

For general items, you can:

1. Contact one of the principal auction houses; or

2. Choose a valuer from the 'List of Approved Valuers'. This list is produced as part of the Commonwealth Government’s Cultural Gifts Program, whereby people can donate artefacts to museums in order to receive a tax benefit.  

Photo of a coffee pot presented to William Westgarth in 1847

Coffee pot from the silver tea and coffee set presented to William Westgarth in 1847.
Source: Museum Victoria

The valuers on the list are generally commercial dealers who have a detailed knowledge of the market in their fields, and will be happy to value items within their competence. They may charge a fee for this work, either on an hourly basis or as a percentage of the total valuation. Check with them first.

Where to get the 'List of Approved Valuers'

The Approved Valuers List is available online and can also be viewed in the reference library in the Discovery Centre at Melbourne Museum.

The Cultural Gifts Program encourages Australians to donate items of cultural significance from private collections to public art galleries, museums, libraries and archives. Gifts are required to be valued by at least two valuers who are approved to value for the Cultural Gifts Program. Some of these valuers also undertake private valuations, and therefore may be able to assist with item enquires and valuations.

For any enquiries regarding the Cultural Gifts Program, contact:

Secretariat
Cultural Gifts Program
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Office for the Arts
PO Box 6500
Canberra ACT 2601
T: (02) 6275 2829
E: cgp.mail@pmc.gov.au

Please note: Museum Victoria cannot tell you how much your object is worth. Please read this infosheet for further advice. We will not publish or respond to comments asking us to value an object.

Comments (165)

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Tim Herron 6 July, 2010 13:43
I have a 1940 Australian penny with a hole, but I have a kangaroo on the back instead of a wreath, the hole is off center. it has a number punched into it, 84A7 is the Number. any info? thanks
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Kerri-Leigh Coker-Williams 6 July, 2010 20:13
We have recently inherited a small number of this style of coin could u please tell me if they are common or rare? could you tell me where I could go to get the coins valued? Thanks
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Discovery Centre 7 July, 2010 10:28

Hi Tim about 4.07 million 1940 pennies were minted in Melbourne and 1.11 million in Perth. The hole is not original and may have been drilled by someone wanting to use it as jewellery or something similar.

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Discovery Centre 8 July, 2010 11:54

Hi Kerri-Leigh, details about obtaining valuations can be found above in the information sheet.

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Will 19 July, 2010 16:25
I just want to know how many Centenary of Collingwood medals(1955) were made. Thanks.
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Discovery Centre 19 July, 2010 17:00

Hi there, unfortunately our sources don't indicate how many of the medals were made.

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Dave Williams 26 July, 2010 03:15
I have discovered an old James Woolley, Sons & Co tin containing capsules of Amyl Nitrate, 11 of the twelve capsules are still intact and one is in the tin but has been crushed (presumably used), could you tell me what date these were manufactured? and how common they were in society?
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Stuart Hall 27 July, 2010 07:27
Hi. Was wondering how many Tottenham Carnival horse brass' exist from 1910? Thanks
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Discovery Centre 27 July, 2010 15:22

Hi Dave, amyl nitrate was once commonly used by medical practitioners and dentists for a wide range of applications. You can find more information about the history & uses of amyl nitrate here. With regard to the date, you should contact the University of Manchester Library Archives. They have the archives of James Woolley, Sons & Co, including pricelists of products. From this, with an image they might be able to help identify its age for you.

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Kathryn McCormack 28 July, 2010 16:34
I have an original prue acton jacket with original swing ticket Style number 2719/227, size 14 order 2889, colour black. It looks like PVC fabric yet label says all cotton. The print has french women & writing all over in black, red & mustard colouring. It has the original belt & is hip length. What era is this from?
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Aimee 31 July, 2010 09:29
Kathryn- I ama vintage clothing collector and I would guess from the sound of the fabric it could be from the 70s or early 80s (probably 80s). I would have to see the label to know for sure. It would be easier to judge by the labels and style of jacket rather than a style number to know era.
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Su Compton 13 April, 2014 12:15
Dear Aimee I have a Prue Acton party/evening dress which has her name label but no other label stating size,fabric care, where it was made etc. It has a satin look dropped waist circular skirt(short)with a net top with embroidered flowers on it. They have a silver thread through them. It's all pale pink, sort of 1920's/'30's influence. Can you tell me what era it might be?or any other info? Many thanks. Su
Judi Powell 2 August, 2010 10:37
I found a Medaille Commemorative coin dated Paris 1878. It is 3 inch. Any thoughts?
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Paul Elliott 3 August, 2010 09:57
I found a 3 inch long silver arrow with R.M.S Orcades stamped into the feathers on one side and Orient Line on the other side. I'm guessing it is from the cruise ship of the same name, but any idea what it was used for? Do you have a display for the Orcades ship? Not after a valuation but would like it to go to a good home. Thanks.
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keith moody 19 November, 2013 09:48
paul elliott, the arrow you have is off the Orcadies and was used as a cocktail stick in drinks, I have a number of them from the P&O Arcadia
S Picken 6 August, 2010 21:50
I have a 1911 Queensland essay competition medal for literature - have found details on web. Who or whom would these have been given to? It is a family heirloom and we are Scottish by birth.
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Discovery Centre 14 August, 2010 15:15

Hi Stuart. It seems like you've already seen our Tottenham Horse Brass. We have no more information on these but it might be possible that the records of the Tottenham Carnival do have this information. The Carnival is still going today and the 2010 event has just recently been held. You may want to contact them or the National Horse Brass Society of the UK to see if any of them can help out further.

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Discovery Centre 31 August, 2010 12:47

Hi, regarding your enquiry about a 1911 Queensland Essay Competition Medal, perhaps this was something that was awarded by the Queensland Education Department as an incentive to their students.  Check out the State Library of Queensland and see if there was a newsletter published at this time, you may find more details about the medal and possibly the recipients.

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PROBIR NUNDY 9 September, 2010 03:12
I would be much obliged if you could kindly send me the photo's of rare antique items of the 18th century belonging to the great personalities.
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Rachael 10 September, 2010 07:36
I won a box of stuff at auction and in it was three handmade clay indian fugures. Each on a clay stand and painted with a name on the bottom, one says Ayah, another Cooli and the third Pungi or Priest. Sadly they are a bit battered but still very sweet. Any ides? Cheers
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Discovery Centre 10 September, 2010 16:02
Hi Probir, you might want to look through our Collections Online for 18th-century items linked to famous personalities. Simply type 18th century into the search box on the left and you will get all the objects available online from this period. You will need to look through them to see if they belonged to someone well known. One example is the printing press belonging to John Fawkner, used to print the first Melbourne newspaper. However, as Europeans only came to Australia in 1788, many of our History & Technology objects connected with personalities date from the 19th century onwards. Hope this helps!
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Lorna Dicker 15 September, 2010 14:56
I am trying to find out the Christian name of a lady who worked in the household of Sir Robert Menzies. Her surname was McKendrick from the UK. She worked for the family about 1930-40. Where whould I go to find this out? I have tried Paliament House but no luck.
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Discovery Centre 17 September, 2010 12:43
Hello, Lorna. The National Archives of Australia has a large collection of documents related to Menzies. You can explore this collection at this part of their website. Hope this helps!
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susan silke 20 September, 2010 00:29
I have recently inherated 2 pictures. One is "united states atlantic fleet entering port phillip bay aug 28 1908" the photo includes the white light house Queenscliff. The photo is 25cm high and 123 cm long. The other is a photo of Melbourne about 1890 It shows the railyards and Yarra river looking towards the west along flinders street and to the right up Swanston Street showing the town hall in the distance. Size 24.5cm x 117 cm I would be very pleased if you could let me know who to contact re valuation and sale Sincerely Sue Silke
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Jeanette Dakin 22 September, 2010 15:28
I have what could either be a molded or carved piece of art work dated Paris 1889. In the back of this is a bronze medal, that says exposition Universelle, 1889, signed on the bottom with the name Louis Bottee. I would like to know how I could go about getting this appraised.
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Deborah Galbraith 28 September, 2010 17:09
To Paul Elliott The silver P&O arrow you refer to were used as cocktail sticks. The various ships' names were stamped accordingly I have hundreds of these and continue to use them.
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darlene mavor 28 September, 2010 21:03
i have a copy of ther booklet Record Breaker Phar Lap, Greatest of all racehorse, one shilling by Jack Spint- 1932. Did the reprint in 1987? have this fact printed in the booklet or did it just have the 1932 date in it
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Ron Wenrich 8 October, 2010 10:23
I have gas stampes from the 'great depression' and a musket from the late 1800's. Can anyone help me to get a value on these items before I disgard?
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David Clark 1 April, 2013 19:54
The value of the musket depends very largely on it's condition. If it is a Brown Bess it could be worth around £300 in good condition
Emma S 21 October, 2010 16:19
Hi there. I recently inherited a lovely cream clasp handbag, most likely from the 1960s. I am not interested in selling or having it valued. Just wondering if you had heard of the make? The inscription inside reads: PINCHOS Genuine Calf, Victoria'. Thanks!
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Discovery Centre 25 October, 2010 12:53
Hi Emma, we can't do identifications based on descriptions and will need images of the bag. To do this please go to our Identifications page and submit your enquiry after having read the identication guidelines.
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keir 25 October, 2010 16:21
i have a captain james cook bicenntanial coin with the sextant and the ship the brass lead one displayed on this website i am trying to get an apprasial on this item so it can be insured incase of damages etc. does anyone know how much it is worth. I also have a decrotative medal with three monkeys on it. was made by astor base metal casting company made between 1957 and 1960 before they became a pty. ltd. any one have any idea about this aswell?
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Michelle Cook 1 November, 2010 01:13
We have an antique foundry crane ladle in our garden. We wondered if it is of any historical interest or value to anyone in Australia? We can send you a photo if you can respond to us, so that we can send an attachment. Thanks. Kindest regards Michelle
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Travis 6 November, 2010 19:43
I have something that I dug out the bush, looks like a watch chain, its gold well looks gold, around 41cm long and at the latch has written dh & co would just like to know some general information and and time around these were made. thanks.
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Rose Palmer 6 November, 2010 21:22
Hi I have a Georgivs v britt omn rex et ind imp medal from 1914 - 1918 - just curious what the value of this medal is. And do you have any history on the medal.
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Discovery Centre 9 November, 2010 11:40
Hi Michelle, Travis & Rose. To identify items we need to obtain further images & information from you. Please see our identification guidelines for details and then submit your question and images through our Ask the experts identifications page.
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Peter 15 November, 2010 12:46
We have come across an upright piano (Ferd Thurmer) which has 4 bronze medals cast into the underside of the piano keys lid. After doing a bit of investigation, it seems like they are medals awarded at the 1888 Centennial International Exhibition in Melbourne. http://museumvictoria.com.au/collections/items/79364/medal-melbourne-centennial-international-exhibition-bronze-prize-victoria-australia-1888 http://collectorsshowandtell.abc.net.au/_Centennial-International-Exhibition-Melbourne-1888-medal/PHOTO/4429356/37596.html I suspect that these are quite valuable?
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Paul Saya 16 November, 2010 06:22
I have a certificate (around 55cm x 65cm) of the independent order of rechabites (salford unity)it says... this is to certify that Ernest A Leggett was admitted a member of Christal Spring Tent No 22branch of "NSW" district No 85 of the Independent Order of Rechabites on the Third Day of July 1898 ... would this be worth getting valued? Thanks ... P Saya
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JAMES CARR 17 November, 2010 04:15
I HAVE A IREDALE&CO TOKEN STAMPED 1820 WITH A LADY HOLDING SCALES ON THE OTHER SIDE IT HAS SYDNEY STAMPED ON IT AND A LITTLE SHIP.CAN YOU YELL ME WAT IT IS AND IS IT WORTH ANYTHING THANKS JIM
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wendy tetreault 18 November, 2010 13:15
I have a Robert Roskell gold huntsman pocket watch that has Liverpool engraved and the #'s 8722 any information would be great.
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Discovery Centre 19 November, 2010 13:17

James, check out our History & Technology Collections Online, which has many examples of Iredale & Co tokens and should provide you with further information.

Helen, it's hard to identify a watch from a description, so we suggest doing some further research on various horology websites or contacting a horologist. Please refer to our Horology Question of the Week for useful links and suggestions.

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Lynda 19 November, 2010 15:38
I bought a stunning vintage kelly style handbag made of genuine leopard skin, including the handle with a lovely ? 50's style clasp with tortoise shell inlaid and beautiful leather lining nearly 20 years ago. It was part of a whole of house deceased estate sale. It was made especially for the owner I think and only has a german stamp on the clasp. Who can value it for me?
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Arthur Jakoubek 11 December, 2010 02:58
Have pocket watch with James Hoddell & Co. London on the face. There are various markingson the inside lid and the name Eugene R. Smith Nashville, Tenn Sept. 1st 1879 on the inside of the back lid and a place to wind, also there are two original keys.
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Di 12 December, 2010 11:27
I have a Prue Acton dress which has a "flower basket" design in yellow tones, fitted waist, full skirt, with side zipper. It is marked as a size 10 but by today’s standards, would more likely fit a size 7 to 8 small busted woman. It really is a piece of art in its own right. I wore this dress once in the very early 70’s and have carted it around as a bit of a treasure. Originally the dress came with a small wrap of the same material as the bodice but this has been lost along the way.
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peleal 21 December, 2010 12:14
I have a copper token ( medal) 2.8cm dia., unmilled.Figure of a goddess(?)standing in front of an anchor, lettering Prosperity to old England in caps. Reverse side is a (stone) bottle, lettering More Trade and Fewer Taxes. Do you have any information I can follow up on this please.
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emily 21 December, 2010 23:07
hi, i have a 1869 randwick autumn race book, i have heard this is the oldest racee book in history? do you know about this?
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david andrews 22 December, 2010 06:34
I have come across a medal for the laying of the foundation stone Flemington & Kensington Presbyterian Church, Victoria Australia 1888. The medal is 31mm diameter and appears to be of unmarked silver. I would appreciate any info on this. Best regards DAVE C ANDREWS
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roslyn hyde 17 August, 2012 01:20
Re the Medal..........this Medal was presented to my Great Grandfather James Urie upon the laying of the foundation at the Flem/Kens Church. James Uris lived in Wellington St Flemington 3031. There is quite a bit of history of James Urie plus lokk up Ferguson and Urie and stained glass windows. Regards Roslyn
Discovery Centre 23 December, 2010 15:06

Hi Emily, the best place to follow this up is the Australian Racing Museum, at contact@racingmuseum.com.au  

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Eric Naef 29 December, 2010 00:44
Looking for information on my great great grandmother's pocket watch. Ladies gold (18ct) open face pocket watch, key wind w/ key, chaised case, floral pattern with matching floral pattern on gold dial, black Roman numerals, case stamped with 161306 and'B&Co' with three stars, plain centrepiece on back looks like coat of arms. In working order. Also has matching locket with picture of man behind glass. w/ long gold adjustable watch chain.
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Silja Ridings 30 December, 2010 20:05
hi, i was given an old diary a few yrs ago it is made of some kind of leather, the page edges look like they have a gold trim, it has poems and pictures from men and women who may have served in the war, as there is alot of writting about a place named gatton? the dates range between 1914-1918. do you have any information that could help me, or if this would be worth anything, thankyou
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Discovery Centre 31 December, 2010 11:27
Hi Silja, Gatton is a town in Queensland, Australia, located midway between Brisbane and Toowoomba. The diary sounds very interesting! You may wish to contact the Gatton & District Historical Society, who may be able to help you with researching the people in the diary. You can also look for service records and therefore perhaps find further information about these people by searching the National Archives of Australia.
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Discovery Centre 31 December, 2010 14:47
Hi Peleal, without seeing your token we can't be positive but it sounds similar to this copper half penny token from England from 1794. You can find out a little bit more on the Cheapside Tokens website.
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Discovery Centre 6 January, 2011 11:30
Hi Eric. Its very difficult to identify a watch without seeing it in person. Normally we would recommend that you contact a horologist to look at your watch and give you further information. We have done a little research however and it seems that the 'B&Co' stamp might indicate that the case was made by Baume and Company Watchmaker, now known as Baume & Mercier. This website gives a little information on the company, as well as an image of their silvermark, which you could compare to yours.
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Discovery Centre 8 January, 2011 12:42

Hi David, this Museum website provides images and information regarding the medal and the occasion of its issuance. Unfortunately the Church burned down in 1970 but the present church, St Stephen’s Presbyterian, built in the same location may be able to provide some history of its predecessor’s foundation, their email address is flemington@scotschurch.com
Since the collection and study of commemorative medals is considered part of numismatics, you may also want to contact the Numismatics Association of Australia:  http://naa-online.com/

 

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Gill Wiseman (From England) 13 January, 2011 08:33
I have found a meal which must have belonged to my Grandfather. It is a bronze 1951 Commonwealth Jubilee Celebration and has a red ribbon with wording Queensland on the pin. It was made by Denham, Neal & Treloar in Sydney. Grandpa came to Australia in 1951 with an England Football Tour and I wonder how he would come to have this - would be grateful for any background information. Thank you.
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Discovery Centre 16 January, 2011 14:09

Hi Gill,

Although Museum Victoria holds a substantial collection of coins and medals, unfortunately we don’t have any information on your Grandfather’s 1951 Commonwealth Jubilee Celebration medal. You might like to try contacting the National Sports Museum as they may have more of an idea. Hope this helps.

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Erin Kelly 18 January, 2011 14:00
I have an original photograph of the opening of the first Parliament of Australia in May 1901, with the Duke of Cornwall & York addressing the members of Parliament. Is this of historical significance? It also needs some restoration work. Can you advise me who would be suitable to undertake this. Thanks.
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Discovery Centre 20 January, 2011 14:42
Hi Erin, unfortunately the museum doesn't comment on monetary worth or value but we would suggest that the photograph would have some historical value. This depends on its condition, who is represented in the image, etc. Without actually seeing a copy of the photo, we can’t comment on its historical significance other than that the opening of Federal Parliament was obviously an important event and one which was documented in various media, painting and photography alike. You may wish to contact a valuer who may be able to give you a better idea about its significance. A valuer can be found through the Federal Government's Cultural Gifts Program List of Approved Valuers. In terms of restoration work for something such as this, you should visit the website of the Australian Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Material (AICCM). You should be aware that there can often be a significant cost involved, depending on the nature of the work.
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carmelo papa 26 January, 2011 08:03
I have a Westclox DAX (1950s I think) which I got while cleaning out my father's belongings. It says "SHOCK RESISITANTand MADE IN CANADA" in the face. Its a bit worn but in perfect running condition. Where can i get this valued?
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Discovery Centre 27 January, 2011 16:06
Hi Carmelo - A valuer can be found through the Federal Government's Cultural Gifts Program List of Approved Valuers
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Kaye-Lea Lomax 31 January, 2011 16:50
I need to find someone who can value Meccano, Can you help?
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Rachael 11 February, 2011 10:07
I guess I am not sure what you can do for me. Is there a book that specialists hat handcrafts? I need to get prices? I was wondering do you tell the public what the value would be today of for example the Jean Rooks leopard print hat in the museum? I am not sure if these are just something that is just a point of interest or that has increased in price? Is this the type of thing that is worth investigating further? Here are some details if that helps narrow down what I am looking for: I bought at auction a group of vintage hats from an unknown hat collector. These are of good quality all with signs vintage wear&tear, smells&marks, etc. They came in two great vintage hat cases: Green gold leaf details & a wire frame labeled: a Rainsford Product of Australia. Three Hats Labeled CREATED BY Jean Rooks EAGLEMONT 1 Orange Fur Felt,With Gold Chain Detail, Black Pleated Inner Lining. 2 Red Tightly Weaved&Zigzagged finished Straw, With Black&Red Ribbon Detail, Black Pleated Inner Lining. 3 Red Felt Hat With Knot, White Pleated Inner Lining 4 Modas Iris Labeled: Grey Feather, Cream Inner Lining A group of unmarked items: Cream hat shelf scarf, 2 black turban Hats, unmarked straw hat amazing blue velvet back ribbon, unmarked cream fur hat.
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James Shepherd 14 February, 2011 04:47
I have found a piece of trans atlantic cable 3 inches in size year 1865 and telegraph construction & maintenance company stamped on it any ideas on its value?
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Mary Woodman 14 February, 2011 10:59
I have inerited several very old books some 1st editions Like House AT Pooh Corner, Treasure Island and Farm Ledgnds and Uncle Tom's Cabin. Where can I have them valued??
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Discovery Centre 14 February, 2011 13:35
Hi Rachael, you might like to check the above-linked Commonwealth Approved Valuers list for costume specialists in your area. For references, we recommend you check your state library service for books on costume collecting.
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Brooke Chandler 15 February, 2011 15:19
Hi, my father has some gold Stephen Daly St Kilda drink coasters, still in the box of 6. We are wondering when these were made and where would be a suitable place to get them valued? or are they of any value? thanks for your time
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Tracy Phillips 21 February, 2011 11:41
I have a Singer Manufacturing Co. sewing machine AA068539, model 66, I believe it was made in 1924 in Elizabeth, NJ. The outside box is a light green with like a sting handle and the sewing machine itself is black with oriental edges. It is in excellent condition. Can you tell me if my information is correct and any other information would be great. Thanks for your help Tracy from PA
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Discovery Centre 23 February, 2011 12:19

Hello Tracey - you might be able to find answers to your research questions by accessing the Smithsonian Collection of Sewing Machine Treade Literature at http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollections/Trade-Literature/Sewing-Machines/; you may be able to locate the manual for the exact model of machine you describe.

 

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David 24 February, 2011 18:06
I have found a book, Apparently it was produced by Ken G Hall. The book is titled "the First Nation Birthday Book"" Season 1927" and it is a collection of movie flyers and sketches of the actors/actresses. My research has led me to two other copies, one is at the State library Victoria, the other is at the University of Queensland. I have been in contact with the Australian Film and Sound Archives. They have told me it is extremely rear, and of significant cultural value. They have also asked me if I was interested in donating it! Could you give any indication of what this book is worth, or if you know where I could get the book valued? I have been in-contact with a number of rear book sellers, but they have never seen or heard of this book before, and are unable to give a valuation. Could you also inform me as to the best way to sell this item? Or is it worth donating it? and Can I claim its value back on tax?
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Discovery Centre 26 February, 2011 10:22
Hi David. Your book sounds very interesting. The infosheet above, however, tells you all about obtaining a valuation. Please read it to answer your questions. If you do want to donate it to those who have expressed interest you can look at the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program, which provides tax incentives for such donations. Again, the link to this information is provided above under 'External links.
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Lauren 8 March, 2011 18:08
Just looking for some information regarding pirates pieces of 8, I have also acquired another coin with the wording "brittania" dated 1797, front features the name "georgius III d.g.Rex" it is very heavy and thick. Anything would be wonderful! Kind regards
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nadia tavares 9 March, 2011 14:53
tenho uma gestetner's rotaru cyclostyle.gostaria de saber o valor comercial. esta em condiçoes. mas eu gostaria tambem de saber mais informaçoes. posso mandar fotos. obrigada sem outro assunto
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Discovery Centre 9 March, 2011 16:48

Hi Lauren, thanks for your interesting question. Pieces of Eight weren't actually pirate coins, althought plenty of pirates probably tried to get their hands on them. The BBC History of the World website says about them:

 

Pieces of eight were the world's first global currency. As the coins of Spain they were used across the vast Spanish Empire, stretching from South America to the Philippines, but were also used outside the empire as well ... The silver used to create the coins and finance Spain's armies and armadas came, above all, from the 'silver mountain' of Potosi in Bolivia. This wealth came at a terrible cost to human life. Thousands of indigenous American Indians and African slaves died in the brutal conditions of the mines to support Spain's thirst for silver.

 

 

With regard to your British coin from 1797, it is clearly a coin of George III, King of England, but it could be one of a number of denominations. For further information you may want to contact one of the numismatics companies mentioned in our Question of the Week on coin valuations.

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Danielle 14 March, 2011 09:52
we live in an old part of Gawler in south australia, we have just dug up some concrete and found old broken bottles underneath, none of them are complete, they are all broken but you can tell they are very old, we have googled the inscriptions and found that one is a "Maughans Patent Carrara Water" bottle (?1845) and there are pieces of "J.Schwepps $ Co Siberners Street Oxford Street Genuine Superior Aerated Waters" bottles (in the shape of a bomb)which are ? circa 1840-1860. We are not sure what to do with them, i.e. how rare they etc. Any info would be great, thanks
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Discovery Centre 17 March, 2011 11:52
Hi Danielle, unfortunately we can't give ideas of rarity or advise you on what to do with the bottles. If you would like further information about the bottles themselves, please send us an enquiry, including images, through our Ask the Experts link at top left.
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Justin 21 March, 2011 18:55
Hey I've found a penny implanted in my desk... It's a 1962 ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FD Penny, just wondering if you can help us out with some info, too many people have too many different comments about it. Thanks
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Discovery Centre 23 March, 2011 14:08
Hi Justin, you will probably need to contact a numismatics society with your question; we suggest you photograph your coin and contact someone from the Australian Numismatics Society, who can be reached via http://www.the-ans.com/
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ann 24 March, 2011 17:34
Hi, have just discovered a small tin of items that i thought i had lost. on of the items is a pin badge, on the it has 7 points, one for each of the following, france, egypt, mesopotania, north sea, new guinea, palestine,gallipoli, in the middle is lest we forget written within the outline of an australia map, suurounded by a gold wreath with a red banner anzac day 1915, on the reverse it has remembrance day 1919,and the name of the manufacturer, with a pin(lapel?) its about the size of a 20cent piece and made of a sort of coated cardboard. would love any information you could give me?
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Discovery Centre 27 March, 2011 12:01
Hi Ann, we have items in our collection that sound similar to this but, without an image, it's very hard for us to identify an item based on description alone. You could send us an image via our Identifications page or try the Australian War Memorial's online collections search to identity the pin.
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Elisha R. 29 March, 2011 09:50
Dear Sir or Madame, I recently acquired a medal that I found to be quite beautiful. I know nothing about it and endeavored to find information on the piece. I searched as I normally would, through google, then through several prominent auction houses. The only place I found a similar medal was on your website. The item similar to mine is the Naples International Exhibition of Maritime Industry, Tuscany, Italy, 1874 listing, item reg #NU 22434. The error in your description is the date on the medal. It should read "1871". The 1 does look like a 4, but the exhibition was held in 1871, and the medal is so dated. I have attached a scanned image of my medal where the 1 is clearly visible. I would greatly appreciate any information regarding the medal I own as I have been unable to find out anything. Thank you in advance, and I look forward to corresponding with you. Sincerely, Mr. Elisha Reese
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Discovery Centre 30 March, 2011 10:57
Hi Elisha, thanks for your feedback. We received your original email several days ago and have passed it on to the relevant collection manager.
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Maxine Steele 7 April, 2011 22:15
My husband has a 1918 half sovereign. We understand many replicas/copies were made of this coin. Is there an easy way to tell? Best regards.
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Discovery Centre 10 April, 2011 11:48
Hello Maxine - for authentications, we would recommend that you approach a numismatics specialist in your area for assistance.
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corrina 19 May, 2011 01:03
hi there, i have an object from the photovolt corporation in new york, which i believe is a meter reader of some sort, it is in a brown wooden box and houses black aparatus, it has a few different colour slides a bulb, it has 4 knobs a silver switch and a meter reader, and then an object that comes off it that you can put the slides into, how do i find out what this actually is??? it does have a box in it with with a nine pence stamp on with king george VI on so know it is pre 1952.
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christine corvin 14 June, 2011 13:22
I too have a bristol probang and have been researching to see how rare it might be? Would you have any advice?
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mark 10 July, 2011 07:27
Start: End: First: 12620251 Last: 12625100 Model: 1899 Name: Material: U Grade: Traveler, Size: 16 Size: 16 Plate: 3/4 Plate: Jewelling: Jewels: 7 Balance: Bal: Breguet Spring Style: HC Style: Htg. Comment: 58 Source: Date:
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steve 26 July, 2011 15:48
hi, i have a small statue of alexander the great head about 10cm tall made of bronze,i cant find a picture nowhere of it on the internet, I baught it when i was in macedonia a couple of years ago off a person stating they found it when they were excavating a property for a house just like to know if its genuine.
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paul oconnell 5 September, 2011 23:07
I have an old sunshine harvester..could I send a photo because I dont have any other details..cheers Paul
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Cliff Stephens 13 September, 2011 12:25
Hello I have a brass ashtray which has the paddle steamer P.S.Hygeia on the front. On the back it is engraved P.S.HYGEIA Scrapped 1931, As was common practise to have scrap made into objects of ships scraped. I was wondering if it would hold any value to the museum. Thanks Cliff
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Sung Shinn 14 September, 2011 11:14
Hi, I just got a gift from a friend and I cannot find any information on it. The item is a set of six coasters designed by Paul Stephen-Daly in 1979. They are in mint condition and depicted six Australian native animals on some kind of copper-aluminum alloy. Any info or value would be appreciate. thanks.
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Maarten van Meerbeek 25 September, 2011 19:08
Hi, My name is Maarten van Meerbeek. I'm from Holland and I search with my metaldetector about every day. And yesterday I found something peculiar. It's a small pendant. And a little research brought me here. It's this one: http://museumvictoria.com.au/collections/items/280597/medal-australian-religious-roman-catholic-church-australia-pre-1976. My question was, do you maybe know how it ended up here?(Holland's pretty far away from Australia :)) And can you tell me if it's rare? Thanks in advance, Maarten
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Ray Holmes 24 October, 2011 17:48
Hello I have a lamp stamped American Fleet 1925 that was made by APD&Sons in Australia it is a statue of liberty.
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rebecca 24 October, 2011 18:04
hi my name is Rebecca and i have a Medal - Halley's Comet, M.R. Roberts Ltd, New South Wales, Australia, 1986 gilt bronze in colour but i cannot find anymore information on it other than what is on your site is there anywhere i can find more information about it
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Discovery Centre 12 November, 2011 14:26

Hi Rebecca, on our website there is some more information on Edmond Halley. Another website that may be useful is the Powerhouse Museum which has the Medal in its collection. I would also recommend the book Australian Historical Medals 1788-1988 by Leslie J. Carlisle.

Sarah H 1 November, 2011 01:25
Good morning, my husband came across a coin at an estate sale, I see you have one on your website, what we have is Crown-George III -1820, can you tell me more about the coin. Thank you
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Discovery Centre 1 November, 2011 14:13

Hello Sarah, other than the quite detailed information here, there probably isn't a great deal more that we could add, except to reiterate that Museum Victorias does not provide valuations. You may want to consider contacting a numismatics society for more detailed information on your coin.

Good luck with your research.

lani 21 November, 2011 10:23
I have a white glass bottle upright shape with a short neck. 13.50 cm (Height), 5.00 cm (Length) "This bottle is and always remains the property of J Bosisto & Co.Pty Ltd Richmond Vic". embossed in an indentation on one side. I am interested in what you think, and what I should do. I dug it out of my garden in Mangere 20years ago, the property was built late 1800. very exciting. best regards Lani
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Discovery Centre 22 November, 2011 12:59
Hi there, Discovery Centre have an Identification Service. Please send images of the object through the website and we may be able to help you out.
Sandra 5 December, 2011 16:28

I have the origional oil painting of Billy Cook winning the 1945 Victory Melbourne Cup. Could you please tell me where I can take this painting to be valued for sale. Thanking You.

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Discovery Centre 5 December, 2011 16:30
Hi Sandra, if you scroll back up through all the comments to the start of this information sheet you'll find some resources and information on how to get items valued.
Bill Bodden 27 December, 2011 10:28
Hi, I have a fully intact bottle which is stamped with R Cooper & Co Portobello. Any information concerning this item would be appreciated. Thanks
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Discovery Centre 27 December, 2011 10:42

Hi Bill,

We have sent you an email regarding your enquiry, recommending that you visit the Discovery Centre 'Identification' page and submit a photograph of your bottle.

 

Scott Irving 29 December, 2011 22:11
I have a 1955 Fj Holden panel van which was supposed to be a Massey Harris service van how can i find out about if this was true
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Discovery Centre 30 December, 2011 09:59
Hi Scott, Museum Victoria has a free Identification Service. If you send us some pictures and information about your 1955 FJ Holden panel van, we can certainly try to verify whether or not it was a Massey Harris service van. You can attach pictures to our Ask the Experts form.
colin kiely 30 December, 2011 00:51
Hi, I have inherited a book 'Memorial Stone of the Wilson Hall of the University of Melbourne," it dates from February 27 1880 as it was presented to a Mrs Barry by Chancellor Redmond Barry on this date, the book is signed by Sir Redmond Barry. The book is in great condition and is also stamped to verify the date. Any information on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Discovery Centre 3 January, 2012 11:29

Hi Colin, this is held by 8 institutions (libraries) in Australia and each copy would have been signed by Redmond Barry as he was the Chancellor of the University of Melb at the time.

The interesting thing with this copy is that it was presented to “Mrs Barry” as Redmond Barry never married but did have a long-term partner! Have a look at the Australian Dictionary of Biography for more information.

Barbara Kerr 13 January, 2012 12:04
I have recently come across a pocket watch, believed to be my father's or grandfather's. It has the engraving of AM Watch Co Waltham Mass Warranted Sterling Silver on the inside of the front cover..on the back inside cover it has E 85....the serial number on the movement is 1279306 with the engraving Waltham Mass. Dunedin NZ and Peter Adair in fancy engraving. It is a key wind watch with two key holes....On the inside of the mechanism cover there is also the date 1/6/1902 scratched with the word A Cullen (I think, it is hard to read).....would you have any idea where I can get more information on this watch please? I would love to know it's history!
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Bruce 7 February, 2012 21:09
I my wifes father died and while going though items we came across a 1928 Eucharist Medal exactly the same as you have have tried every thing you said to get a valuation but no one seems to either have one or never heard of them ...my wife is wanting to isure it but we cant get a value on it....is there anywhere else that maybe able to help us that u know of
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Tina Andrews 10 February, 2012 17:56
I have a W Dobell '53' painting or print. It depicts a beach with a wooden dinghy,alady in Victorian dress, sitting. Another two rowboats in the water, 1 empty and one with a man in it. There is also a wooden shed.The background is a hilly point with trees.
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Lorraine Howell 2 March, 2012 17:25
I have 2 Old Postcards, dates not known (black and white)Printed by Ward,Lock & Co.,printed in London, Photo-Sport and General. Australian Cavalry At The Sphinx, and A "Joy Ride". The soldiers are all pictured on horse back, is there a place to have these dated.
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Discovery Centre 3 March, 2012 13:04
Museum Victoria has a free identification service. If you are able to send us some images or colour scans of the images, we will certainly endeavour to date them for you. Images can be sent to us via our online enquiry form.
Tania 10 March, 2012 11:56
Hi There I have recently inherited a 18ct pocket watch that belonged to my great grandfather which is beautifully engraved with his initials and also has the name Thomas Gaunt Melbourne 1877 inside the watch. It is is beautiful condition and mazingly it still keeps perfect time. Any information on this would be greatly appreciated
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Discovery Centre 17 March, 2012 10:07

Hi Tania, Unfortunately we were unable to uncover any information pertaining to your particular pocket watch. You should consult our Question of the Week on Horology for information on how to do further research or contact a horologist. But the good news is that there is a lot interesting historical information available about the clockmaker, optician and jeweller Thomas Gaunt. Possibly one of the most recognised watchmaking names from 19th-century Melbourne the company was based in the Royal Arcade for many years. The museum has a large collection relating to the company and a good historical narrative on the Collections Online website. Additionally the Encyclopedia of Melbourne, Walking Melbourne and a book The Cyclopedia of Victoria have some interesting information on the company.

Vivienne Shishakly 7 April, 2012 21:28
I have a coin 5 Mils, Cyprus, 1973 issued by the Republic of Cyprus. Minted by the Royal Mint. Is this coin rare ? Would a musuem be interested in having this coin ? What kind of value would it have ? Thank You for your attention, Vivienne
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Discovery Centre 8 April, 2012 11:44
Hi Vivienne, there were 5,000,000 of your coin minted. As this page notes the Museum is not able to provide valuations.
Raymond Blair 12 April, 2012 20:38
I would like to know how many invitations to wittness opening of federation in 1901 are in existence in there original form? As I know of one that is in its original condition and has been in a freinds procession for over 40 years..
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Discovery Centre 16 April, 2012 13:45
Hi Raymond. Unfortunately it's not known how many of these invitations exist but about 12,000 people attended the opening, about 8,000 of whom were invited guests (ie sent physical invitations).
Meg 16 April, 2012 23:18
Thank you very much for the details list of valuers. I have a vintage kangaroo fur coat for sale that I want to get assessed as it's very dear to me and would hate to sell for less than it's worth. Fingers crossed one of them is able to assist me.
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Shamsul 6 June, 2012 23:09
Hi,I got J.&M.P.Bell & Co plate with makassar pattern showing stylised dragon, a peacock and a lion
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Shamsul 7 June, 2012 01:28
hi, I got this J.&M.P.Bell & co Ltd earthenware rice plate, transfer printed with 'Makassar' pattern showing two dragon, a peacock and a lion with a broad border of roundels and scroll, red in colour.
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Andrew 12 July, 2012 06:07
i have a Zabateri of the last supper, not sure how many there are or if there were copies made.i know it is older than i am and i am 42 years of age,it was my moms and i do not know how long she had or where she bought it or if it was a gift.
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f forbes 15 July, 2012 05:12
i have a cuivre fob watch #199979 do you know how old it is or what year it was made
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Discovery Centre 15 July, 2012 10:20
Hi f forbes, Museum Victoria has a free Identification Service. If you send us a photograph of your fob watch, we should be able to answer your question about its age.
getachew anteneh 17 September, 2012 08:54
i have a 1943 british east africa coin
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Janet Parker 20 September, 2012 20:13
Just noticed there is a menu for an 1963 menu of the passenger ship Strathede someone has posted, I have a menu of her voyage on Saturday 6th of June, 1959, when my parents migrated from Finland and wondering if there is much interest in anything like these?
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Discovery Centre 23 September, 2012 10:26

Hi Janet, please visit our Ask the experts page for details and information about donating objects to the museum.

MiguelQ 21 September, 2012 21:15
I have this old book, from my father that is now dead. We found this on his yard, mixed with some personal things. I recognize the date 1728 (which is my father handwritting) so this could be someone that gave him, and he noted the date of recieving which means, the book could be much older! We never understand what his is, but a friend of mine told me this is old musical, and might be very valuable. you can check this on a youtube video i posted: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkanmYKftFA&feature=plcp
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James Armstrong 6 October, 2012 02:31
Hello, my mother and i recently discovered a clay pipe on the beach with a circular stamp on the back of the bowel that has the word 'CORK' printed on top with a harp underneath the lettering. i was wondering just how uncommon these clay pieces are and how old it could be. is it valuable? should it go to a museum?
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Discovery Centre 15 October, 2012 13:37
Hi James, Museum Victoria does not provide valuations. Perhaps try searching online for the phrase 'clay pipe' for further information.
diavma 14 October, 2012 20:15
An elderly friend has six vintage glass diapositves slides (they measure about 3 inches) dating approx late 18th - early 19th century... they were created in England and feature image of artworks of Joan Of Arc. Where could he get them valued and what would be the best way of locating a buyer for such items? any assistance would be appreciated. Thank you.
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Aaron Robinson 24 October, 2012 15:51
I have some Christain youth pins From National Christian youth convention 1957 and 1960, ALso a pin from 14 th Worlds christian Endevour Convention sysdney 1962, Very little info out therem Any 1 help.
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Peter 28 October, 2012 14:31
Hi, I have a 1918 Threepence wich is very thin. It has a George V Portrait with the words GEORIVS V D.G. BRITT: OMN:KEX F.D. IND: IMP.
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Dannielle 16 November, 2012 08:02
Hi there im just wondering how many 1920 sixpence were made and how many would be expected to be around these days? Much Appreciated .
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Discovery Centre 23 November, 2012 12:45
Hi Danielle, there were 1,476,000 1920 sixpence coins minted. The Numismatics Association of Australia may be able to give you an idea of how many of these coins are still in existence.
Dale 20 November, 2012 12:13
Hi, I recently purchased a solid brass cannon with a dragon design on the sides, it is about a foot long and roughly half a foot tall approx. I am trying to find out more info about its origins, can you point me in the right direction?
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yousuf 28 November, 2012 07:36
hi i have a gold coin of victoria dei gra britt regina fid def ind imp 1983 weight 7.80 is it orignal???
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Mark 30 December, 2012 16:40
Hello. I have an actual original copy of the South Australian Advertiser from November 12 1880, the morning after the event of the death of Ned Kelly. It has quite an extensive article regarding the execution of Ned Kelly, which is pretty amazing to read...and is definitely authentic. I'm looking to sell it...but hoping that it goes to a more historically significant organization or museum. Could you possibly recommend a 'suitable contact' to learn a little more about the items significance and value? Would be appreciated. This is not a message requesting a 'valuation'. Thanks for your time.
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Discovery Centre 31 December, 2012 09:11
Hi Mark - that sounds like a very interesting item! As a public institution, we are not able to recommend any particular private company or practitioner, but I would suggest you look through the linked "Approved Valuers List" for people in your area that specialise in paper ephemera and newspapers.
Ariel 6 January, 2013 10:45
Hi my uncle has a I. hollis and sons doubble barrel shotgun I wanted to get more information on it? Do you have information on it?
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Gillian Terry 15 January, 2013 19:33
Hi, I have been looking at my late fathers coins and came across a 1943 Australian Half Penny I have searched online and have found that it should be copper..This one is not copper it is silver..Any help would be appreciated..
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kelly swarbrick 22 January, 2013 09:20
i have a Medal - Coronation of King George V & Queen Mary Commemorative, Great Britain, 1911,i was just woundering if you knew how many of these were made? your help would be great
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Discovery Centre 6 February, 2013 12:09
Hi Kelly - We checked this in one of the books in our Discovery Centre library; our reference for our information is “Australian Historical Medals 1788-1988 by Leslie J  Carlisle”.

According to this book, there were 36 different medals that were produced to celebrate the event, issued by a number of shires, councils, boroughs and other like organisations.The mintage (the number of medals manufactured) in nearly all cases are marked n/k (not known).

Christine Johnson 30 January, 2013 14:22
Someone in my family received a King George V Silver Jubilee Medal. It is now in my possession and I am trying to find out who received it. Is there a list of recipients that can be accessed.
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Discovery Centre 8 February, 2013 16:06
Hi Christine, there were many of such medals produced as well as the "official" one. Some were produced by municipalities and some by commercial organisations. We presume your family member received an official one (there were 85,235 of these made and presented and 6,500 to Australians). They were given to a variety of people including government officials, service members and police – there was some controversy as to how they were allocated, since the number was limited.
Alice Pocock 9 February, 2013 01:22
I have a lid of a "CHERRY TOOTH PASTE - Patronized by the Queen" For beautifying and preserving the teeth and gums. Prepared by JOHN GOSNELL & CO. LONDON. Also added EXTRA MOIST on either side of the Queen's head.
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James Ross 18 March, 2013 13:06
Hi, I've recently found a 1887 queen Victoria diamond jubilee city of richmond medal.. Wondering if you could help with any info or history of this medal. Thanks for your time
Discovery Centre 6 April, 2013 10:03

Hello James - we had some of our volunteer researchers look into this, and they've found the following information:

The fiftieth anniversary of the ascension of Queen Victoria was enthusiastically celebrated across the British Empire. Local governments and organisations issued medals to commemorate the occasion, using their own designs. The City of Richmond held a children's fete as part of the festivities and issued a medal for the occasion. I could not find who the medals were presented to, but it was possibly the children who attended. 

Melbourne Museum has an information sheet on who was awarded exhibition medals here.  There are information sheets on the medal produced for the City of Richmond Children’s fete. These can be read and downloaded from here and here

On these pages there are links to George Henry Bennett the mayor of Richmond in 1887 like this and medals produced by other shires and City councils: The Shire of Port Fairy, City of Moorabbin and the Victorian Croquet Association also produced medals. The Australian Dictionary of Biography has an article on George Bennett.  There is an article, on a similar childrens’ fete at St Kilda, that can be sourced via TROVE (the NLA digital newspaper collection) here. Unfortunately, we could find nothing on the Richmond Childrens’ fete. A query to the Richmond Historical Society or Richmond Council may produce more information.
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Walter A. Ritchie 25 May, 2013 18:05
Where could I find a copy of the VIP visitors to the Perth Mint in 1954. I am looking to see if a member of the Eisenhower administration from the USA is listed as having been there to help establish Provenance for a 1954 Perth Mint Proof Halfpenny.
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Discovery Centre 26 May, 2013 13:09

Hello Walter - I'm sorry to say that Museum Victoria wouldn't have information that would help with this enquiry, so we suggest you may wish to try a few resources to research this further; the Perth Mint itself may be able to help, also perhaps the State Records Office of Western Australia.

Best of luck with your research

john leary 6 June, 2013 20:52
have found a presbyterian sabbath school celebration medal 1889.can you tell me where to find out more about it and do you have these in the museum?
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George 2 August, 2013 22:00
I own a upright piano Thurmer No 14630. Must be over 100 years old.
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Peter 9 October, 2013 06:28
George, your piano Thurmer with No. 14630 dates between 1895 and 1900. The last piano made in 1895 had No. 12200 and in 1900 the last No was 19500. So 14630 is closer to 1895, that's why I think 1896 or 1897 is the correct building year.
James 8 August, 2013 21:39
looking for information on De Dion vis a vis in your collection is there someone I can contact in regards to it? thanks
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Discovery Centre 10 August, 2013 10:33
Hello James - we have a number of De Dion items in the Museum Victoria collections; feel free to send us an enquiry via our Ask the Expert page specifying what you are interested in knowing and we will help as best we can.
aussie girl 21 November, 2013 03:12
After leaving adelaide in oct 1867 the duke had a quick visit to robe s.a in september 1867 he stayed at the original CRITERION HOTEL which was owned by my forth great grandfather his daughter rebenna jenkins sung for the duke of edinburgh upon his arrival and he presented her with a golden locket, have no idea where or who the locket went to its been handed down over the generations, i have a huge passion for back tracking family history and was wondering how i would find out more information about his stay at robe and about the locket
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Discovery Centre 23 November, 2013 13:03

Hi aussie girl,

Since your query relates to South Australia rather than Victoria, your research should begin there.  Below are some useful websites to get you started.  Good luck with your search!

History SA

State Records of SA

State Library of SA

Genealogy SA

Family History SA

Becky 1 January, 2014 17:13
I have some 1960'or (maybe even earlier) shell oil transfer stickers and Diesoline stickers and 3x Apex cpr earlier sticker. Where do I go to get them Priced?
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Mark 4 March, 2014 00:06
I have a Commissioner of Victorian Railways Gold Pass. It has the coat of arms on it and is inlaid with blue enamel. It belonged to a family member E.B. Jones who was Commissioner around 1914. It has a small ring on top as it was attached to a chain on a vest, of which I have 1 photo of him wearing it. Wondering if these are rare, or whatever else?
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Anthony Aiello 5 April, 2014 22:28
I have a Thomas Russell & Son Small pocket watch. It is gold with the number 10007 stamped inside. Do you know if it is solid gold or gold plated and roughly what year it would have been made? Thank you for your time!
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brooke mizzi 21 April, 2014 13:15
my father in law has found a ceramic bottle that sayd elliotts in big writing on one side and underneath it says this bottle is the property of GH ELLIOT and the other side it says GH ELLIOT brewed trade E mark ginger beer MELBOURNE, i saw on the website you have a fragment of it, just wondering if i can get more information about it. thanks!
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Walter 14 June, 2014 08:31
Hi We have been left with a legacy of a massive colle cation of old early Australia telephonic equipment. Some items are still in the boxes new from the turn of the century. Old Bakelite phones to red phone. Lots of specialised testing and monitoring equipment in cases also early Edison player. Massive amount of old monitoring gauges. We have it packed and stored in my warehouse now for 14 years after the passing of my father who collected these. Can you help with information about these items...
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Discovery Centre 14 June, 2014 10:15
Hi Walter, As stated above, we don't do valuations, but if you are looking for more research-type information about specific items in your collection, you are welcome to email photographs and detailed descriptions to us at discoverycentre@museum.vic.gov.au[.] We do not have the staff resources to do identification of an entire collection, however, so pick a few items and we will try and recommend some resources for you to continue your research.
Dallas 15 September, 2014 17:29
Hi there, I have recently found some Ration Vouchers from World War II era. The vouchers are for Petrol. 1 and 2 gallon vouchers. Exp Date September 1942. I am just curious as to how common these are in the present? Are they still an item that is quite common for collectors?
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Carol Knee-Omant 15 September, 2014 22:00
Hi. I was doing some research regarding a medal my grandfather gave to my mother approximately 70 years ago. The same one, appear on your site. http://museumvictoria.com.au/collections/items/1099350/medal-bendigo-juvenile-industrial-exhibition-victoria-australia-1886 I was wondering if you could tell me anything about it as we have no knowledge of its history. Thanks. Carol
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