Guide to the Australian Ethnographical Collection in the National Museum of Victoria. Baldwin SPENCER.
Guide to the Australian Ethnographical Collection in the National Museum of Victoria.

Guide to the Australian Ethnographical Collection in the National Museum of Victoria.

Melbourne: Government Printer, circa 1914.

Octavo, with 14 photo plates, a fine copy in quarter calf by Sangorski with gilt spine lettering.

From Gillen's personal collection

Early guide to the Aboriginal artefacts in the National Museum of Victoria, compiled by anthropologist Baldwin Spencer who personally contributed to the museum's collection throughout decades of field research in central and northern Australia. A leading figure in Australian academia, Baldwin Spencer was trained in the biological sciences but developed a keen interest in Aboriginal ethnography following his involvement in the Horn scientific expedition of 1894. In collaboration with Francis Gillen, Spencer became a renowned authority on rituals of the central desert tribes. By nature a keen and assiduous collector, he was a generous benefactor of Aboriginal artworks and artefacts to the Museum (including a single bequest of some 200 bark paintings). Accordingly, the notes in this catalogue provide important information derived from Spencer's personal interactions with Aboriginal informants.

Early guide to the Aboriginal artefacts in the National Museum of Victoria, compiled by anthropologist Baldwin Spencer who personally contributed to the museum's collection throughout decades of field research in central and northern Australia. A leading figure in Australian academia, Baldwin Spencer was trained in the biological sciences but developed a keen interest in Aboriginal ethnography following his involvement in the Horn scientific expedition of 1894. In collaboration with Francis Gillen, Spencer became a renowned authority on rituals of the central desert tribes. By nature a keen and assiduous collector, he was a generous benefactor of Aboriginal artworks and artefacts to the Museum (including a single bequest of some 200 bark paintings). Accordingly, the notes in this catalogue provide important information derived from Spencer's personal interactions with Aboriginal informants.

In addition to tools and weapons, the fourteen plates illustrate toys and games, cradles, string puzzles, magical sticks and engraved stones, and objects worn during mourning and burial. Given Spencer's longstanding involvement with the Arunta, the inclusion of totemic and ritual items such as emu-feather boots is of considerable ethnographic interest.

This beautifully bound copy was originally owned by Spencer's collaborator Gillen, and more recently by the anthropologist and curator Dr. Robert Edwards, AO.

Greenway, 8670.

Price (AUD): $400.00

US$294.70   Other currencies

Ref: #4302345