Classics and Archaeology Virtual Museum


Middle Eastern Collection

92 Middle Eastern casts have been identified. Some are very large. The majority have inscriptions in various languages, many in cuneiform, and for that reason have been included in the Virtual Museum as texts. In some cases there is an indication of where the original is to be found. The casts have been on display in the Old Arts building for a number of years.

A large number of cylinder seal copies were not photographed or included in the Virtual Museum databases.

Classics Collection

Casts in the Classics Collection (excluding electrotype copies of coins) include:


The Virtual Museum includes two casts in the personal collection of Professor Sear:


Correspondence in the Registrar's file 1925/139:

23 Nov 1927.

Reg to Miss A Michaelis. Letter enclosed from Miss Webb asking her to buy casts, plus draft for £25 for cost and expenses. Please attend to paperwork.

5 May 1928.

Reg to Mr F D Michaelis. Thanks, we've already sent a cheque for the balance we owe you.


FDM: "Melbourne University. We were recently approached by Professor C.T.Seltman of Cambridge, with a request to arrange for shipment several cases containing plaster casts etc., for the Melbourne Universiy. These casts were ordered by Professor Skutt of the University, who had evidently got to hear of the shipments made recently for Miss Alice Michaelis, also in connection with the University Museum, and who had informed Professor Seltman that we had been able to ship them free of charge. In this instance we have been asked to ship four cases and we have been able to arrange for their despatch free of charge on the "Port Gisborne".

7 December 1928.

Seltman to Webb. "The [vases etc] objects themselves are travelling in 3 cases (addressed to Prof. Scutt) which Messrs Michaelis, Hallenstein & Co. are having sent out. … A complete list of everything has also been sent to the Registrar … As for plaster-casts, I've got you an Acropolis Kore with paint, and I'm arranging for others to come as soon as possible."

14 Dec 1928.

Seltman to Reg. "In reply to your letter of Oct 5th … I am now going to attend to the plaster casts on which Professor Scutt desires to spend the greater part of the sum still outstanding."

1 Jan 1929.

Scutt (on board P&O SS Ballarat) to Reg. Please ask Council "that they make a further grant of £100 for reproductions such as the two already acquired for the Arts Building - I make this request now because while in Greece I may be able to obtain reproductions that can only be secured by vigorous action on the spot. If this is approved I should like to be informed immediately. My address will be "c/o National Bank of Australasia, Australia House.

5 Feb 1929.

F D Michaelis (441 Lonsdale St) to Reg. Shipment of plaster casts due on Port Gisborne tomorrow evening. Ref to previous parcel of casts shipped at the request of Miss Michaelis.

8 Feb 1929.

Reg to F D Michaelis. Thanks for 2 letters regarding shipment of plaster casts and the like from Mr Seltman to the University. Great!

16 Feb 1929.

Mayne Nickless got 4 cases of antiques from Port Gisborne. Customs chit same day.

27 February 1929.

Reg to Scutt. Thanks for yours of 1/1/29. "Also got approved the additional grant of £100 for further reproductions to ornament the Arts building".

25 June 1929.

Sorry, forgot to send you that £100 for reproductions. Here it is.

And a separate set of casts:

1 April 1930.

Leighton Irwin, Director, Atelie. Gift of 5 large crates of casts from trustees of South Ken Museum, London. Free transport etc.

1 May 1930.

Reg to Gawler. Irwin's casts are used junk and they cost £100 freight!

Apart from the Acropolis Kore, it is not known for certain what casts were purchased either from the Sutton Bequest or from the additional £100 entrusted to Professor Scutt.

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