Aboriginal Artefacts from Private Collections

22nd July – 4th September

Michael Reid OBJECT is proud to present Aboriginal Artefacts from Private Collections. This collection celebrates the history and use of clubs, boomerangs and shields in Aboriginal culture. The necessary tools and equipment used for hunting, fishing, and warfare, were some of the few items that Aboriginal communities carried with them from place to place. To be an object carried was to be important, to the needs of the individual and community.

Most objects were used for a multiplicity of purposes. Because many were made from raw natural materials, such as wood, generally only partial remains are found today. Far more significant however, than the rarity of finding such a wooden artefact intact, this Nulla Nulla has two major attributes rarely found in combination: these being the impact on the weapon made by early European contact and the know, highly specific provenance as to the objects place of discovery and time.

An Aboriginal club, otherwise known as a nulla-nulla, could be used for a variety of purposes such as for hunting, fishing, digging, warfare and in ceremonies.

The boomerang is recognised by many as a significant cultural symbol of Australia. The term ‘returning boomerang’ is used to distinguish between ordinary hunting and warfare boomerangs and the small percentage which, when thrown, will return to its thrower. The oldest wooden boomerang artefact known, excavated from the Wyrie Swamp, South Australia in 1973, is estimated to be 9,500 years old. Boomerangs could be used as hunting or fighting weapons; for digging; as cutting knives; for making fire by friction and as percussion instruments for making music.

Shields were mainly used by Aboriginal warriors to defend themselves in dispute battles, often for territory. A shield which had not lost a battle was thought to be inherently powerful and was a prized possession. Shields were made from wood or bark and usually had carved markings or painted designs. They could also be used in ceremonies such as in corroborees.

  • Maker Unknown
    An Exceptional Wunda Shield, Western Australian, late 19th century

    77.5 × 19 cm
    $7,000
  • Unknown Artist
    A Large, Hunting & Fighting Boomerang, circa 1860

    97 × 7 cm
    $3,200
  • Unknown Artist
    A South-Eastern Parrying Shield, Early 20th Century

    78.5 × 11 cm
    $3,800
  • Aboriginal Artefacts from Private Collections

  • Maker Unknown
    A large, finely engraved Hunting & Ceremonial Boomerang, from Northwestern New South Wales or Southern Queensland, late 19th Century, or early 20th Century

    81 × 5.5 cm

    SOLD

  • Unknown Artist
    A Hooked or Swann-Necked Boomerang, Early 20th Century

    67 × 18.5 cm

    SOLD

  • Unknown Artist
    Historical Wonnarua Grouping – A Nulla Nulla or Wadi, A Finely Engraved Hunting & Ceremonial Boomerang and A Hunting Boomerang, late 19th Century, or early 20th Century

    65 × 10 cm
    $10,800
  • Unknown Artist
    A Hooked or Swann-Necked Boomerang, Early 20th Century

    67 × 25.5 cm
    $2,800
  • Maker Unknown
    A Museum Quality Parrying Shield, late 19th century

    81 × 12 cm

    SOLD

  • Unknown Artist
    A Large, Finely Engraved Hunting & Ceremonial Boomerang, from North Western New South Wales or Southern Queensland, late 19th Century, or early 20th Century

    81 × 5.5 cm
  • Maker Unknown
    A Nail-Headed Club known as a Nulla Nulla, late 19th century

    68.5 cm
  • Unknown Artist
    A Hunting Boomerang, late 19th Century, or early 20th Century

    66 × 5.5 cm
  • Unknown Artist
    A Large Museum Quality Woomera, late 19th century

    81 × 12 cm

    SOLD

  • Aboriginal Artefacts from Private Collections

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