On 26 June, staff member Dianne Byrne presented an informative and interesting overview of this important recent collection acquisition for a group of students from the Queensland College of Art (Jewellery and Small Objects course).
Dianne provided an insight into the life of early Queenslander John Watts of Eton Vale Station on the Darling Downs. Watts was a prominent and wealthy pastoralist, later entering parliament where he served in both the Legislative Assembly as well as the Legislative Council.
The necklace was commissioned in the mid 1860s by Watts and manufactured by prominent Sydney silver and gold smith Christian Ludwig Qwist. It features various Australian flora and fauna, which had significance for Watts.
Also featured is an Advance Australia coat of arms, which is of significance as the coat of arms’ design evolved over time.
The necklace complements other material in the collection relating to John Watts and Eton Vale Station.
The students were also able to view the necklace during their visit.