The origin of this lot should read "Lower Murray Region" rather than "Central Arnhem Land" as the catalogue entry states.
Dr Philip Jones of the South Australian Museum has advised that the baskets in this lot are in fact from the Lower Murray region and not from Milingimbi as the catalogue entry suggests. Dr Jones states that "the Arnhem Land 'coiled bundle' baskets were made following Gretta Matthews' arrival as missionary on Goulburn Island in about 1920s. She had worked on Lower Murray missions and brought the technique to Arhhem Land, but the baskets made there were always quite different, albeit made with the same 'coiled bundle' technique.
These examples show all the accumulated influences of traditional Lower Murray basketry crossed with mission and market influences from southern Australia. The colour and form of the rushes are quite distinctive also. The Arnhem Land baskets were generally made with pandanus, which looks quite different.
Harold Sheard made several trips to the Lower Murray from 1929 through to the mid-1930s. He was primarily interested in the archaeological work being undertaken in rock shelters there, but took the opportunity to visit and photograph Aboriginal camps in the region, including those of known basket-makers, and the Swan Reach Mission (where Gretta Matthews had worked)."
The estimate for this lot should read $30,000-40,000 and not $20,000-30,000 as printed in the catalogue.