Decorated Traditional Boomerang Made by Joe Timbery

Item TB104  

This Item Sold on 24 December 2007 for $93

Similar artifacts for sale can be found on the Aboriginal Boomerangs link.  

Historical Pricing information for this item and similar artifacts can be found at: Historical Artifact Prices

Australian Aborigines are well known for making boomerangs. The majority of the Aborigines had the technology to make throwsticks, or non-returning boomerangs. Only a small percentage of the tribal groups knew how to make true returners and most of these came from the eastern coastal regions of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. During the past century, the majority of the Aborigines came out of the bush and were somewhat assimilated into the European man's culture. Many Aborigines began making returning style boomerangs to sell to tourists. The earliest ones were well made out of natural timber and with the grain following the curvature of the boomerang. Today, most hardwood boomerang are cut out of a large board and the grain is usually straight and running parallel to a line spanning the tips of the blades. Boomerangs that are made with the grain following the contour of the blades are much stronger and more valuable. In addition, some boomerangs have good airfoiling. The majority do not. Most "tourist boomerangs" have painted upper surfaces that display Australian animals and decorative lines and/or geometric patterns. Most pre-contact returners have no artwork or the artwork is simple and scratched into the surface. It is easy to tell the tourist boomerang from the valuable ethnographic artifact. However, tourist boomerangs that are made properly with the grain running along the contour and with good airfoiling and artwork do have good collectable value, especially if they are made by a famous Aboriginal artist like Bill Onus or Joe Timbery.

This boomerang is a medium sized returning boomerang made by Joe Timbery, one of the most famous boomerang makers of the 20th Century. Joe made boomerangs in LaPerouse, a suburb of Sydney where many Aborigines live. Joe made everything from low end tourist boomerangs for Duncan McClennan's Boomerang School in Sydney to beautiful works of art made out of fantastic natural elbows and painted like fine bark paintings. This one is made out of plywood and decorated with hot poker art depicting a kangaroo. The tips have an orange-brown stain. The airfoiling is correct for a right handed boomerang. This one is expected to be a reasonably good returner. The underside of both tips have leading edge beveling with a right handed bias. The underside of the elbow has " Aboriginal Joe Timbery La Perouse Sydney " written with a hot poker. This one was probably made in the 1960s. The tips are sanded flat, as was typical done on these early Timbery boomerangs. This boomerang is a good collectable and it would display nicely on the wall. Span = 45 cm Weight = 68 gm

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