David Baker's Oceanic art collection to draw crowds in Sydney

On September 8 in Sydney, the Oceanic art collection of David Baker will cross the block at Theodore Bruce Auctions, joined by two further collections of aboriginal and native works.

David Baker Collection splashboard
A splashboard from a boat of the Trobriand Islands

Baker (d. 2009) was the president of the Oceanic Art Society in Sydney and owned one of the finest collections in Australia. The final part of his collection features in the sale, focusing on works from Vanuata, the Trobriand Islands and New Ireland.

Travelling the world, Baker acquired many of his pieces from the native people themselves, and even helped to fund the creation of new artworks and ceremonies. He was also a dealer in these objects, selling works to many important collectors and institutions, including the National Gallery of Australia.

Among the highest valued lots in this part of his collection is a five metre tall Vanuata slit drum, which is expected to sell for between $1,864 and $2,797.

Also starring in the sale is the collection of the Red Sand Gallery, which was a long-running dealer in the Northern Territories known for its close links to remote communities. Following will be highlights from the New Guinea collection of Stan Moriarty, who travelled extensively in the region in the 1960s and 1970s, before selling much of his collection to the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

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