After a good year of planning the Pearly King suit has gone on loan to Western Australian Maritime Museum in Perth, as part of their fantastic Lustre exhibition.
The Pearly King suit being installed
The exhibition is in partnership with Nyamba Buru Yawuru, an organisation which represents the Yawuru people, who are the native title holders of Broome.
The Pearly King suit in his case
Broome was once the Pearling capital of the world and the exhibition is looking at the intriguing stories behind northern Australia’s unique pearling tradition, weaving together intersecting strands of Aboriginal, Asian and European histories to reveal an insight into one of Australia’s oldest industries.
Delicate conservation work taking place on the suit.
Mother of Pearl has become valued across the world, and been used in many innovative ways for hundreds of years. The Pearly King suit (which was kindly donated to the Museum by Fred Booth’s family in 2011) is an integral piece in the exhibition to illustrate the diverse uses across the world.
Packed and ready to go
Along with the suit are beautiful personal adornment and status objects, carved pearl shells, art deco decorative insects, carvings with pearl shell inlayed, all from Aboriginal, Asian and European cultures.
A lot of work has been involved removing the suit from display, conserving it and packing it up before it went on its long journey across to Australia. He had his own specialist crate built for him, a quite a bit of TLC and a clean from Conservation, and some carefully created padding to keep him in good shape ready to go straight on display.
It has been such a fantastic opportunity to work with two amazing organisations and share an iconic part of London life with the other side of the world!
The Pearly King suit will be on display at the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Perth until 25th October 2015.