Michael Backman Ltd
Australian Aboriginal & Colonial Items
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From where do we source our items? We do not go on buying trips. Almost all the items stocked by Michael Backman Ltd have been sourced from the UK - from old
collections. Countless items were brought to the UK during the colonial era by colonial administrators and the like. Other items were made in Asia for export to the UK – the
UK was wealthy early: it has been a major destination for the world’s exports for hundreds of years.  This means that most of our items have been in the UK for at least sixty
to two hundred years.

The conditions in which they have been kept often has been very good – the climate is kind, and there are relatively few pests. Many items were acquired as keepsakes
and curios, meaning that they stopped being used once they came to the UK. This too has helped to preserve them and their conditions often are far better than had they
remained in their home countries. Buying from old UK sources means that the items have good provenance; it helps to avoid fakes, and items that have been amended or
embellished. It also means that our items are obtained legally – today, most countries in Asia prohibit the export of their antiques. So, because of its colonial past, the UK is
perhaps the world’s biggest source of genuine antiques from Asia, perhaps more so than Asia itself, and that is the source into which we tap.

All the items on this page are available for sale. We are based in central London, but sell to clients around the world.  
Want to enquire about an item on this page?
Aboriginal Mulga Wood Spear Thrower (Woomera)
Western Desert, Western Australia
circa 1940
Inventory no.: 1032
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Donald Friend (Australia, 1915-1989)
African Dream
signed ‘Donald ‘39’
Pen and ink wash
Inventory no.: 1044
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Donald Friend (Australia, 1915-1989)
Ambitions - Bali, circa 1978
signed ‘D.F. (Codex)’
Ink and pencil
Inventory no.: 1045
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Inscribed Silver ‘Loving’ Cup & Cover used by the Prince of Wales to Drink South Australian Wine in 1866
inscribed in 1866 & with marks for 1741
Inventory no.: 2729
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Aboriginal Pineapple Pandanus Head Battle Club
Central Queensland, Australia
early 19th century
Inventory no.: 3391
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Kimberly ‘Point’ Glass Spear Head
Aboriginal People, Kimberley Region, Northern Western Australia
late 19th-early 20th century
Inventory no.: 3727
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