John Watts necklace presentation

Dianne Byrne, State Library staff memberOn 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.

John Watts necklace

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.

Audience at the presentation of the John Watts necklace

Posted in Collections Jo Browse John Oxley Library
Conversation Hub
Forthcoming research seminar at Noosa
Training seminar on Mabuiag Island
  1. Katz

    Could we get close up picture’s of this necklace? I run a jewellery business and would love to see some more details of the craftmanship. You just dont see designs like this anymore. What is this necklace made out of?


  2. Katz

    Hello again
    Thank you so much for sending me the photos! They are amazing. Not everyone would be able to see that each of the sculptured pendants are actually a locket and has a picture underneath the hinged sculptured face/lid. Amazing piece of work!

    Katz Green

  3. Ben Wadham

    Did you know that the Oxley Library has the carbon copy of John Watts’ autobiographical memoirs dating from about 1902. His daughter, Jane, married an English country parson by the name of Peppercorn. Their son, Arthur, was the designer of the A1 locomotives (the last steamers on the LNER network in Britain) All 49 nof these were scrapped after dieselatio of British Rail. About ten years ago a group of steam enthusiasts built one from scratch using Arthur’s design modernised to meet 21st century mainline standards; it has been operating for more than a year now.Ref>

  4. JOL Admin

    Yes, thanks Ben. I’ve read this typescript and it is very interesting for a number of reasons. Especially for the insights Watts provides into pastoral life and the formation of the new state of Queensland in 1859. Watts, as you probably know, was a member of the first Queensland parliament.

    Readers can see a decription of the John Watts typescript on our Onesearch catalogue.


    Simon Farley
    Manager, Client Services
    Heritage Collections

  5. John Peppercorn

    I am Great Grandson of John Watts and we had the necklace .Some years ago My sister passeit on to Brisbane Museum.Good to see it is still being enjoyed


View our comments policy.Your email address will not be published.