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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