Learn about Aboriginal Artefacts

Aboriginal art and artefact collecting goes back to early first contact times. In fact local Aboriginals around Sydney use to trade artefacts with visiting ships from the earliest days. Curio collecting has always been part of early exploration of the new world. Ceremonial adornment items that were made of perishable material were not preserved for future use and so early examples are very collectable. Early shields, clubs and boomerangs that were cherished as favourites and had developed a deep colour and patina are preferred. Historical items that were collected by early notable pioneers, explorers or anthropologists are of high interest to collectors. Some areas are collected because the artistic expression makes them more appealing when displayed. Production of artefacts has never ceased and are still made today for sale. Bark painting production started in mass in the 1950's and were sold via missionary shops. The earlier barks are more sought after. Now with many of the early artists and their roll in the maintenance of culture recognized, these barks are seen as important expressions of a past lifestyle.

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These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

19th century Aboriginal shield. Spindle form with holes for cane handle. Scored lines & dots all over decoration. North Coast NSW. Provenance: Bungan Castle Museum collection.

19th century Aboriginal shield. Lightly curved with medial line to both sides. Highly scratch decorated surface. Use patina. Provenance: Bungan Castle Museum collection.

An early Wunda Aboriginal shield, Western Australia (circa 1880) length 62 cm

An Australian Aboriginal hardwood shield, 73 cm long

Aboriginal parrying shield. Hardwood with incision banding. Length 88 cm

Aboriginal Parrying shield. Narrow worked hardwood with incised banding and zig zag. Provenance: Bungan Castle Museum collection. Length 80 cm

A shield, West Australian origin with incised linear decoration front and back, 69 cm, Provenance: Collection of The Late Geoffrey Maxwell Worthington,

An Aboriginal shield, 20th century, carved in geometric designs with ochre, yellow and white pigments, 160 x 41 cm

Aboriginal Parrying shield. Flat, double tapered form with traces of banding & tip decoration. Use patina. Provenance: Bungan Castle Museum collection. Length 87 cm

Aboriginal shield. Early hollowed, pointed oval form with holes for plaited handle. Traces of ochre cross decoration. Provenance: Bungan Castle Museum collection. 59 x 25 cm

19th century Aboriginal parrying shield. Typical thin pointed form with carved hand grip for small hand. Some losses. Provenance: Bungan Castle Museum collection. Length 75 cm

19th century Aboriginal parrying shield. Curved, triangular section with rounded ends. Use patina. Some losses & insect damage. Provenance: Bungan Castle Museum collection. Length 66 cm

Aboriginal Breastplate. Hand chased shield form brass, 'Black Bob King of Duck Creek.' Provenance: Bungan Castle Museum collection. Height 18 cm

A fine & early shield, West Australia, early 20th century. Finely incised zig zag designs with traces of the original white, red ochre decorations & old patination. Provenance: Lord Alistair McAlpine (1942-2014) was a British businessman, politicia

A fine old Wunda shield, West Australia, late 19th - early 20th century. Finely incised zig zag designs with traces of the original white, red ochre decorations & old patination. Provenance: Lord Alistair McAlpine (1942-2014) was a British businessman, pol

A rainforest shield with painted finish, Queensland origin, early 20th Century. 64 x 18 cm

Early 20th century Aboriginal parrying shield. Incised chevrons to face. Eastern coastal origin. Provenance: Bungan Castle Museum collection, length 78 cm

A Wunda shield, Western Australia. Length 71 cm

A shield, Queensland rainforest mission station origin, 20th century. 78 cm.

A shield with painted ochre decoration, most likely West Queensland, 20th century.

A bean wood shield, Central Australia, together with a finely carved and ochred coolamon bowl; the shield with faint painted designs (emu and foliage) Provenance: This shield was given as a thank you to Dr Bertram Welton in the 1940s when he worked with Ab

A finely carved and painted shield, Central Australia, the front with fine Central Australian designs in white ochre. 68 x 22.5 cm

A Wunda shield, Ashburton, Western Australia, 19th century; a fine and early Wunda shield with classical deep incised zig zag designs on the front, the back showing the great age of this shield with incised vertical striations bisected with horizontal stri

An Aboriginal shield, Western Australia, early 20th century; finely carved with zig zag striations on the front and concentric squares incised on the back of the shield, traces of red ochre. Provenance: Lord Alistair McAlpine (1942-2014); a British busines

A fine Lagrange Bay shield, Western Australia, 19th century; with fine deep incised vertical striations on the front, the reverse with fine interlocking abstract designs, traces of red ochre and ancient patina. Provenance: Lord Alistair McAlpine (1942-2014

A fine Queensland rainforest shield and sword club, early 20th century. Provenance: Robert White collection. Shield: 87.5 x 19 cm; club: 92 cm (2)

A fine old Wunda shield, West Australia, late 19th/early 20th century. Provenance: Lord Alistair McAlpine (1942-2014); a British businessman, politician and author who was an advisor to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, he was a lifetime collector in many

Aboriginal carved Australian Wanda shield, incised angular decoration

A rare form of shield, New South Wales origin, carved hardwood. 19th century. 55.5 cm

Shield, Central Australia (1960s), natural earth pigments on carved beanwood. 62.5 cm

Large shield, north West Western Australia, carved hardwood. 91 cm. Provenance: Ex-Holt collection

A shield, Queensland (mid-twentieth century), pigments on carved wood. 67 cm high

Early Aboriginal hardwood shield with geometric hand carved design

Early Aboriginal hardwood shield with geometric hand carved design

A selection of Aboriginal artefacts including softwood shield a coolomon a carved tomahawk and a carved pick head 53 cm - 25 cm

Aboriginal shield West Australian origin circa 1940s (62 cm); & a club central deserts origin (58 cm)

Important group aboriginal tribal artifacts collected by Thomas Phillip Gourlay at Mt Eba on Bon Bon Station South Australia located near the junction of Queensland & the Northern Territory. Early 20th century. Shields (3), boomerangs (8), snake, sword clu

An unusual Early Shield: North Queensland (early 20th century) natural earth pigments on carved hardwood. 82 cm long. Provenance: Private Collection, Cairns

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