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Taxidermied turtle

Date: 20th century
Overall: 770 x 630 x 220 mm, 7.1 kg
Medium: Organic: turtle
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Turtle
Object No: 00031344

User Terms

    This stuffed turtle has stitching on its legs and the text 'P T W Black 7 Bridge St Sydney' on the underside of its belly. It belonged to the Australian shipping line Burns, Philp & Company, a household name in Australian shipping during the 1920s. The company's headquarters were located in Bridge St in Sydney. It is likely that this turtle was taken from the waters in the South East Pacific where Burns, Philp & Co were active in establishing trade networks between Australia and its neighbouring islands.
    SignificanceThis turtle is an interesting example of the types of souvenirs and curios gathered by a twentieth century South Pacific shipping company.
    HistoryBurns, Philp & Co Ltd became incorporated in 1883. Their early operations included running small stores on Queensland's Gympie goldfields and shipping goods between Brisbane and Sydney. The company expanded and began shipping between Australia and the South East Pacific running numerous plantations and warehouses overseas. In the interwar period of the 20th century Burns, Philp & Co became an established name in Australia; their ships clearly recognisable by their Scotch Thistle flag.

    During World War II a number of their ships were commandeered by the Merchant Navy and used as troop and supply transports. The company’s specialised knowledge of the Pacific became very useful in the allied war effort and both the ships and their personnel were taken into war service.

    During the 1970s Burns, Philp & Co made major operational changes and became involved in the production and distribution of food and beverage. Burns, Philp & Co operated on the Australian Stock Exchange until December 2006 when it was divided and sold.

    Additional Titles

    Primary title: Taxidermied turtle

    Web title: Stuffed turtle

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