Pearl Shell buttons

Although pearling had begun in Shark Bay in the 1860s, where small pearls were extracted from the small, Pinctada albina, when the much larger Pinctada maxima shell was discovered in Nichol Bay it was the pearlshell, not pearls, that were of greater value. Traded in global markets, the shell was used mainly to make buttons. Prior to the development of plastics, pearlshell buttons such as these were prized for both their durability and beauty. Their lustrous shine belies the harsh truth of an industry that ruthlessly exploited their Aboriginal divers.

Available at:

Cossack Museum

WA's first pearling port

Located on the beautiful banks of the Harding River, the Cossack Museum is housed in the old courthouse, now resurrected from the abandoned port town of Cossack. As Perth was developing into the state...

Address:

Corner of Perseverance Street & Pearl Street
Cossack WA
Australia

Open Hours

February to March Sat to Sun 10am - 3pm; April to October 7 days 10am - 3pm; November to December Sat to Sun 10am - 3 pm

More from the Cossack Museum

Traces of porcelain

Quietly resting amongst fragments of reconstructed vases and ginger pots, this small Chinese-styled ceramic head is a reminder of the strong presence of Asian labourers and shopkeepers in the frontier...

While you're in the area

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Cossack Heritage Trail
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