Slip cast ceramic mug with a design of a male Aboriginal male figure with shield throwing a boomerang in a into wash of black glaze on a cream background, with artists signature on lower right bottom surface.
CH classification DOMESTIC EQUIPMENT Food & Drink Consumption Crockery dish
CH classification Homewares
Essex Ware (estab. 1953, closed 1957)
L130 x W120 x D75mm
History and use
This object is from the Glenn Cooke collection of Aboriginal-themed design. In 1999 Glenn Cooke donated his collection of over 1300 domestic and souvenir wares to Queensland Museum. Together the collection provides detailed examples of how Aboriginal art and design have been adopted and reproduced in Australian popular culture. The Glenn Cooke collection dates from the 1940s, when Aboriginal design was first embraced by ‘Australiana’ industries, up until the present day. While some of the objects in the collection were made by Indigenous people, the vast majority were not. These items therefore raise a number of questions about authorship, authenticity and appropriation in Indigenous-themed design in Australia.
This mug was decorated by English-born illustrator Tom Alban, and produced by the Essexware pottery studio. The Essexware studio was established at Leura in the Blue Mountains, NSW and was active from 1951-1957.