On Monday 8 September at 6pm in our Sydney showroom Theodore Bruce is proud to offer the collections of David Baker (part one), Red Sand Art Gallery (Part one), and Stan Moriarty. This auction showcases the very best of fine Aboriginal art and includes over 200 important oceanic artefacts offered unreserved.

David Baker was President of the Oceanic Art Society in Sydney up until his untimely death in 2009. Theodore Bruce Auctioneers is to offer for sale the last of David Baker’s important collection of Oceanic art from Vanuatu, the Trobriand Islands and New Ireland on September 8 in Sydney (Part One).

David was born in Sydney but grew up in Brisbane, where his father ran radio station 4BC. After leaving school David landed a job with 2UW in Sydney – the sister station of 4BC. Then followed several years working as Media Manager at Hansen-Rubensohn-McCann-Erickson, Sydney. In 1976, having established himself as a leading media operator, he co-founded the advertising agency, Schofield Sherbon Baker with Leo Schofield and David Sherbon. The firm flourished and was bought out in the 1990’s by the Japanese company, Dentsu, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world. David continued to run the firm but his interests were increasingly absorbed by the spectacular art of the Pacific nations in our immediate region.

David had eclectic interests in art, history, adventure and a love of the bush – the latter probably grew from his youthful experiences as a Queen’s Scout, but found its full expression in his collecting trips throughout Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu. With the financial freedom gained from his advertising career David was able to delve into foreign cultures and engage with village people, sometimes helping them fund elaborate and expensive ceremonies – such as a Funerary Ceremony on Tabar Island in PNG which required the creation of multiple intricate Malangan carvings. He also travelled widely in the Trobriands, accumulating a significant collection of Massim art. His last great passion was the culture of Vanuatu, particularly the islands of Malekula and Ambrym, where again he put together a large body of art and artefacts. Much of what David collected was sold through his New Guinea Gallery in Surry Hills, Sydney, although he also retained an extensive private collection. David sold Oceanic artworks to many important collectors and institutions, most notably the National Gallery of Australia which acquired several superb items for their spectacular Vanuatu exhibition entitled Kastom: Art of Vanuatu, which was held in 2013. Details of some of these objects are available at:

Red Sand Gallery operated in Ti Tree and Alice Springs, NT, from 1996 to 2008 under the directorship of Mr. Peter King. This highly respected gallery had close and direct links with many remote Aboriginal communities, specializing in fine art works from Kintore and the Utopia homelands. Each painting comes with a signed Certificate of Origin.

Stan Moriarty travelled extensively in the New Guinea highlands during the 1960’s and early 1970’s and acquired a significant collection of highlands cultural material, much of which is now owned by the Art Gallery of New South Wales and featured in the recent exhibition, Plumes and Pearlshells: Art of the New Guinea Highlands (2014).

Full Catalogue available now click here to view.
For enquiries about these collections contact Jim Elmslie.
For absentee bids and all other enquiries contact Vicki Tsacalos.

Pictured: Lot 272
Johnny Warangkula Tjupurrula
“Old Pankalangka Panklow Man”
55cm x 110cm
Estimate: $5000 – $7000