Moreton Bay pearls in Australian jewellery, David Bedford

Vol 40 no 3, Aug 2018
Article from Vol 40 no 3, Aug 2018

Moreton Bay pearls in Australian jewellery, David Bedford


Australian colonial artists sought to use local materials and to appropriate local motifs in their artworks for several reasons: to reflect the Australian origin of their work, to distinguish it from the art of other nations, and to foster a stronger sense of connection with the country. Moreton Bay pearls are one of the new, local materials used in jewellery in the 1850s and 1860s, but the study of their use has been neglected up till now. David Bedford looks into the history of the use of Queensland’s Moreton Bay pearls and discusses examples used in jewellery made by leading Sydney and Brisbane jewellers.

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The Australiana Society acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples – the First Australians – as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.