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.

A Cape York woomera an exceptional early spear thrower of wood, resin and shell. Aurukun people, Queensland. Length 83 cm

Aboriginal Woomera - Spear Thrower with leaf-shaped flat springboard. Front entirely covered with linear grooved carving, using zigzag and parallel motif. Stone tooled finish. Rich brown patina. Height 55 cm. Width 17 cm

A pair of ceremonial spears, Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory, collected 1960's; finely carved and ochre painted designs. 128 cm each

Three Aboriginal artefacts including a ceremonial spear tip, an early tourist boomerang and a feather ornament

An Aboriginal ceremonial spear, Tiwi Islands, Northern Australia 174 cm

Australian indigenous axe heads and spears, Two axe heads found in S.E. Queensland, along with NT spear heads

Six Aboriginal artefacts. Adze with incised decoration; spear thrower; club; carved board; & two pointing sticks. Length 60 cm (adze)

Four early Aboriginal spear heads slight damage to some of the barbs. Possibly Queensland. Provenance: From a UK collection 60 - 79 cm high

Spear Throwers (3), from WA/Central Australia, includes one with stone chip bonded in natural gum at end

Aboriginal spear thrower. Well worked thin acacia, with resin set quartz cutter in handle. Length 93 cm

Ceremonial Aboriginal fish spear. Collected Groote Eylandt 1950s. Old varnish over natural earth pigments. Length 71 cm

Four Aboriginal carved wood items, including 1960s souvenir canoe fish spear; stone worked mulga boomerang; pokerworked goanna. Length 45 cm (boomerang)

Three Groote Eylandt ceremonial items. Spear, clapstick and knife. Crudely carved hardwood with hatched decoration in ochre. Probable souvenir items, collected 1950s. Crack through knife 'Blade.'. Length 64 cm (spear)

An Australian Aboriginal ceremonial spear wooden, polychrome decorated. Length 117 cm

Collection aboriginal artefacts - shark knife, spear point, hard axe, quartzite blade knife with spinifex grass resin handle and a Queensland shell necklace (5)

Group of five Aboriginal spear heads, wood, sinew and gum. Old label attached. Provenance: Zanesville Museum of Art, USA. Length 4.5 cm.

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Aboriginal Flaked Flint spear Tip and stone adze, traces of gum resin and fibre to base. Together with an early stone adze. Provenance: Zanesville Museum of Art, USA. Adze length 11.3 cm, width 5.5 cm, spear length 17 cm width 4 cm.

Two Aboriginal spears, long form hunting spears. Example one offering finely crafted single barbed head (possibly swan river style). Second example utilises single side multiple barb technique (northern Australian style). Provenance: Zanesville Museum of A

Two Aboriginal spears, long form hunting spears. Example one offering finely crafted double sided barbed head with signs of natural pigment decorations remaining (tiwi style). Example two utilises innovative steel blade with netted white line decorations.

Aboriginal woomera - spear thrower, wood, reddish brown patina, leaf-shaped flat springboard, the front entirely covered with linear grooved carving using parallel and diagonal motif. Chip carved suggesting stone tooled. Handle with knob, leading tip wrapp

Large Aboriginal woomera - spear thrower, Western Australia, wood, reddish brown patina, leaf-shaped flat springboard, the front entirely covered with linear grooved carving using zigzag motif. Handle with knob, leading tip wrapped in Museum cotton protect

Aboriginal woomera - spear thrower, heavy weighted wood, reddish brown patina, flat paddle-shaped body decorated with zigzag motif. Red ochre apparent. Narrow handle highlights stone tooled surface. No point attached. Old label attached. Provenance: Zanesv

Aboriginal woomera - spear thrower, with decoration of kangaroo, kookaburra and emu totems. Chocolate brown patina. Point missing. Provenance: Julius Carlebach gallery, New York, 1958. Zanesville Museum of Art, USA. Length 51 cm. Width 9.2 cm.

Aboriginal woomera - spear thrower, reddish brown patina, leaf-shaped flat springboard, the front entirely covered with linear grooved carving using zigzag and parallel motif. Stone tooled. Leading tip wrapped in Museum cotton protecting affixed tooth. Pro

Fishing spear, Northern Arnhem Land, Barbs and guard decorated, with natural earth pigments

Ceremonial spear, Arnhem Land, with cross hatch Ochre design, length 135 cm

A set of 3 Bactrian bronze Weapon heads, a spear end and two axe heads, c.1,000BC (modern day Afghanistan)

Two Tiwi ceremonial spears, of wood decorated with polychrome ochres, Arnhemland, 225-227 cm (2)

A Yolngu spear thrower, of wood, leaf form sinew bound peg at apex, resin bulb at grip terminal, small split to anterior, Arnhemland, 83 x 9 cm

Oscar Namatjira painting on woomera (spear thrower) faded but still very attractive. Length 56 cm. Typical Namatjira family landscape. Also painted on reverse with beginnings of emu. Scarce.

Three Central Australian hunting spears, the hard wood shafts bound with sinew, notched terminals, remnant resin to one, two with barbs attached, 273-190 cm (3).

Three Central Australian hunting spears, the hard wood shafts bound with sinew, notched terminals, two with barbs attached, 221 to 272 cm (3)

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