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Queensland Museum: Pacific Anthropology

Family links to the collection

The Marks family have been associated with the Queensland Museum since the first of their donations to its collections, from Charles Ferdinand Marks, in 1919. CF Marks was also responsible for a significant collection of indigenous items, comprising items relating both to Papua New Guinea and other Pacific islands, and to Australian Aboriginal people. The Pacific items had been given to CF Marks by Sir William MacGregor, a doctor as well as colonial administrator. He was administrator of British New Guinea (now Papua) from 1887 to 1894 and Lieutenant-Governor (reporting to the Governor of Queensland) from 1895 to 1898. As part of his responsibilities he explored some 600 km along the Fly River and climbed Mount Victoria. He also collected many artefacts which he sent to the Queensland Museum. MacGregor became Governor of Queensland in 1909 and the first Chancellor of the University of Queensland the following year, before retiring and leaving Queensland in 1914.

Further Pacific items were donated by other members of the family in the years following the major donation by CF Marks in 1920.

Mask - Malagan, Queensland Museum
Mask - Malagan
Image courtesy of the Pacific Anthropology, Queensland Museum

Dates of donation

CF Mark donated 857 items in 1920. Other donations from the family were from EO (Ted) Marks (1 item in 1944, and a further 3 items from his estate in 1978), Alex Marks (2 items, also in 1944, and a further 6 items in 1945), the estate of EMB (Edris) Marks (8 items in 1978), and EN (Pat) Marks (29 items in 1982, including five from South Africa).

Numbers and types of items

The Marks Pacific Anthropology collection comprises some 925 items, including weapons, personal and ceremonial items, and tools. The places of origin are not all known, but include:

Abalem 1 item
Admiralty Islands 3 items
Bouganville 68 items
Colombo 2 items
Fiji 1 items
Gazelle Peninsula, New Britain 2 items
Guadalcanal 3 items
New Caledonia 1 items
New Hebrides 11 items
New Ireland 5 items
Papua 46 items
P.N.G. 71 items
S.W. Papua/Torres Strait 4 items
Santa Cruz Islands 35 items
Solomon Islands 7 items
South Sea Islands 30 items
Southwestern Santo 1 items
Torres Group 34 items
Trans Fly 58 items
Trobriand Islands 3 items
Vanuatu 77 items
West Papua 6 items
Zandalwong 2 items

Notable items

The following items give a sense of the nature of the collection:

E1333Lime container
E18248Ear ornament
E984Sculpture – Malagan
E985Mask – Malagan

Marks Family Collections

Queensland Museum: Pacific Anthropology items


Contact details

The Curator
Pacific Anthropology
Queensland Museum
PO Box 3300
SOUTH BRISBANE QLD 4101
http://www.qm.qld.gov.au/