Current Exhibition

Australian Toys 1880–1965: The Luke Jones Collection

Galleries 1-3 - 1 June - 24 August 2024 - Ticketed Exhibition

In simpler times before smart phones and video games, we played with tin toys, wooden trucks, and paper planes.

Rediscover the excitement and wonder of childhood through this exhibition of historic Australian toys from the collection of Luke Jones. Initiated by a 9-year-old North Adelaide paperboy’s earnings, Jones has nurtured and researched his extensive collection for over 40 years. From board games to a toy Hills Hoist, this exhibition provides a detailed insight into Australian childhood through the lens of play. You will see a fascinating range of Australian toys made between the 1880s and the 1960s, including refined lithographed tinplate toys of the 1920s, charming folk art creations, mass-produced toys that emerged during the post-war period, and European and Japanese made toys with local relevance. Be engaged by toys which are inspired by historic events, be entertained by toys which celebrate Australia’s love of sport, and be enchanted by fantasy creations straight from toymakers’ imaginations.

Stroll down memory lane and share the nostalgia with your own children through Australian Toys 1880–1965: The Luke Jones Collection. Only at The David Roche Foundation, Adelaide.



Adult: $12
Concession: $10
TDRF Member: $9
Children under 12: Free

Book your exhibition tickets here



Australian Toys is an illustrated history of Australian manufactured toys from 1900-1965, drawing on the author’s authoritative collection. The book documents the production of each toy with beautiful colour photographs accompanied by relevant text about the toy and manufacturer. This book is an important contribution to the recorded history of Australian society, childhood, family and manufacturing. Full of superb photos, historical research and illustrations!

Buy your copy now



Each Thursday at 11:30am, join one of our Volunteer Guides for a tour of the exhibition, and learn the stories about these charming playthings and how they were created! Bookings can be made by selecting the 11:30am – 12:15pm time slot when purchasing a ticket. Price is the same as the entrance fee. You are welcome to enter the exhibition before the guided tour begins, and to carry on viewing the exhibition after the guided tour finishes. Guided tours commence on Thursday 13 June.

Book your guided tour tickets here



Friday 2 August 10:30am-Noon: Tea & Tour of Australian Toys with guest exhibition curator and toy collector Luke Jones. Book here.



Australian Toys 1880–1965: The Luke Jones Collection

1 June – 24 August 2024
Tuesday to Saturday 10am – 4pm. Closed Public Holidays.

Children under 12: Free
Adult: $12

Concession: $10
TDRF Member: $9

The David Roche Foundation House Museum
241 Melbourne Street
North Adelaide SA 5006
T: 08 8267 3677
E: info@rochefoundation.org.au
W: rochefoundation.com.au

Link Image: Leckie and Gray, Sunshine Biscuits from Ballarat Truck, 1930s, tinplate, lithography. Collection: Luke Jones. Photography: Mark Spaven.

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Current Exhibition

A curated art trail on the walls of North Adelaide

July to September 2024

Discover stories from the streets around North Adelaide through works of art from the David Roche Collection. Spanning 2.3km, this free self-guided adventure leads you past many charming cafes and eateries, making it easy to stop for a coffee and a bite to eat, supporting local business on the way.

Reproductions of fourteen works of art form an outdoor trail displayed on the walls of participating private homes and commercial buildings around North Adelaide. The trail is available for viewing at your leisure during daylight hours for three months over winter and early spring.

This public art initiative aims to engage city audiences with the David Roche Gallery and its collection, enhance the vibrancy of the city, and increase visitation to North Adelaide.


Guided Tours

On selected dates in July through September, join David Roche Gallery Curator Timothy Roberts on a tour of selected works of art along the Fermoy on Foot Outdoor Art Trail.  Hear fascinating stories about these works and the locations where they are displayed. Tour dates released soon, please check back to register your attendance.


Find out more

For more information about the trail, including locations, featured works of art, and how to get there, please visit Experience Adelaide.


Link image: Jenny Berger née Désoras (France 1776–1858), The French actress, La Duchesnois and her children 1825, oil on canvas. The David Roche Collection, Adelaide.

City of Adelaide logo

The Fermoy on Foot public art initiative is a partnership between David Roche Gallery and City of Adelaide.



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