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Billy Hughes bottle stopper
, undated

by Mashman Bros. Ltd.

ceramic and cork

William Morris Hughes (1862-1952) was Labor and National Party Prime Minister of Australia from 1915 to 1923. An English immigrant, before becoming Prime Minister he helped to found several major trade unions, but he was expelled from the Labor party in 1916 for supporting conscription. He won the 1917 election for the new National Party. During his life-long parliamentary career, he was also expelled from the National and United Australia Parties; he ended his days in a Liberal seat. His small stature, large ears and pugnacious manner made him a favourite of caricaturists, notably David Low, whose manic heads of Hughes this bottle stop resembles.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2009
Accession number: 2009.88