Mystery surrounds the stories behind some of the eclectic items which make up Ballarat's 'Wonderful Things' exhibition.
The exhibition, which features strange, eclectic and random things, is currently being held at Sovereign Hill's Gold Museum until July.
It opened last year to celebrate the museum's 40th birthday and pays homage to its vast collections, showcasing everything from taxidermy, fashion and art, to pharmacology and weaponry.
The Gold Museum's curator Snjez Cosic said the museum had been collecting objects and stories related to Ballarat and the Victorian goldfields since 1978.
There are almost 150,000 objects underpinning the Sovereign Hill experience.
She described the collection on display as a treasure trove which the Ballarat community was lucky to have.
"The exhibition represents the museum's unique role as custodian of objects and stories associated with Ballarat's past," Ms Cosic said.
"It's got a bit of everything. We have a good cross-section of people's interests because it touches so many interests," Ms Cosic said.
She said her favourite piece in the exhibition was the museum's oldest costume piece - an elaborate dress dating back more than 200 years.
"The hand-stitched 1770's dress is embroidered with crimson foliage pattern. We believe it's from France or Belgium. The undergarment was missing so our costume department recreated it," Ms Cosic said.
"It's just one of the fashion items on display as part of the exhibition."
There is a 'cabinet of curiosities' filled with a strange and eclectic mix of objects, including a hot water urn and lid said to have arrived in Ballarat with its owner John Holloway in 1854.
Other highlights include a Homeopathy set, circa 1900; binding shoes collected by George and Robina Arnott-Rogers who worked as missionaries in China between 1899 and 1916; a tortoise cranium and hartebeest horns, which make up the Dr Sydney Pern Collection; and the famous Ballarat Bertie Mascot from the Ballarat Brewery Company.
Ms Cosic said, like many of the exhibits, the story behind the mascot was unknown but it was believed to have featured in the Begonia Parade.
"A lot of these objects have a lot of mystery," she said.
'Wonderful Things: Celebrating 40 Years of the Gold Museum' will be held at the Gold Museum until July 21.
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