George of Saxby Downs and his wife 1909
Aboriginal breastplates, also known as king plates, gorgets and brassplates, are given to individual Aboriginal people. A type of military gorget is chosen. A crescent is the most dominant shape but squares, circles and other shapes are also used.
In the early days of colonial Australia the governors and the land holders saw advantage in singling out certain Aboriginal people as leaders and distinguishing them in some way, so as to ensure their cooperation in the Europeans’ efforts to open up the land during the 19th and early 20th centuries.