Join Date: May 2006
G'day Radleigh, I've lived in the Sydney area all my life, and currently live a couple of hundred kilometers south of Sydney, but am in the city about every two weeks.
Australia in general, including Sydney, is pretty much empty of any shops or museums that might cater to the interests of anybody with an interest in any type of weaponry.
In Sydney there are several museums. The Australian Museum, in College St, is currently a shadow of what it was 20 years ago, and I could not recommend it to anybody, except perhaps, a person with an interest in minerals and gemstones.The second major museum is the Powerhouse Museum, which is supposedly a museum of technology, but the way in which it has been developed has turned it into something that is probably not much more than a very expensive child entertainment facility. Its forerunner, the old Technological Museum, or Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, was an absolutely brilliant facility with one of the best exhibitions of weaponry one could ever wish to see. You will see none of this in the Powerhouse.The old museum had been developed as a type of "library" of crafts that students and journeymen could call upon to see top examples of the trade and craft skills that they were trying to master.In all honesty, it had probably passed its useful life, but its replacement is an enormous disappointment to most people over the age of 12.
Some years ago I trained one of the Powerhouse conservators in the cleaning and staining of keris, and during the course of this instruction I got to see the stored collections in their basement. There was very little weaponry in store, and what I did see was mostly rubbish. I was given to understand that the large part of the collections previously on display in the old Tech. Museum had been on loan to the museum.
There is a maritime museum, a pretty fair art gallery---NSW Art Gallery, the Domain, and a few other small museums and galleries scattered around. None of these places have anything at all that could be of any interest to a student of weaponry, except perhaps the NSW Art Gallery which has a few nice Japanese pieces in its Asian section.
As to any opportunity to purchase anything at all in the way of weaponry, well, I reckon you could walk Sydney and suburbs from end to end and crossways for a year, and about all you'll find is modern glitzy wallhangers, pocket knives, and perhaps the occasional bayonet. Ethnographic weaponry? Forget it!
In fact, forget all about weaponry of any type while you're in Australia, and on no account carry any bladed implement of any kind while you are in Sydney, not even a keychain pocket knife. Delay your visit until November December, and spend your spare time on the beach.