Peter Fish - Australian Financial Review - 1 June 2016
Aboriginal-art specialist D'lan Davidson, formerly with Mossgreen and Sotheby's Australia but now operating his own business specialising in tribal art sales, has turned up a rarity – a Sydney Aboriginal sword club which is said to date from early in the 18th century. Apparently the club has been in a Sydney private collection, unidentified, for some 30 years.
The leaf-shaped club, 88cm long, bears a distinctive zig-zag design. It has already attracted interest at around $30,000 and will go on display at an exhibition this month.
Davidson says the Sydney clubs were used as weapons in the early colonial days, but only a handful survived and were preserved. He says one is in the Australian Museum and another in the Charles Heape collection at the Manchester University Museum in England.
The rare Sydney sword club is distinct from the weapons from the Darling River region in the early 19th century and described as "sword type clubs" in the 1981 book Aboriginal Australia, published by the Australian Gallery Directors Council.
The exhibition is at William Mora Galleries in Richmond from June 3 to 30.
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