Untitled (Macassan Prau) bears 'catalogue number Y5, Malay Prau (?), Yirrkala Arnhem Land' on the reverse natural earth pigments on eucalyptus bark 33 x 50cm
PROVENANCE: Painted at Yirrkala, North East Arnhem Land in the early 1950s Private collection of the late Leonhard Adam
EXHIBITED: Museum of Ethnography at the University of Bonn, Germany, from the late 1950s - 1993 Brighton Museum and Art Gallery, Royal Pavilion Gardens, Brighton, United Kingdom, 1994 2011
This work may be by the hand of Wonggu Munungurr (1884-deceased), the great leader of the Djapu clan who painted Macassan Praus frequently at this time. Other related works by this artist depicting Macassan Praus can be found in the Donald Thomson collection at Museum Victoria and another two collected by Reverend Wilbur Chaseling c.1938 in the collection of the Australian Museum, Sydney and Queensland Museum, Brisbane. For another earlier example by Munungurr in the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales see Untitled, c.1930 in Hetti Perkins and M. West (eds.), One Sun, One Moon: Aboriginal Art in Australia Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2007, p.14.
Bonhams would like to thank Dr Howard Morphy and Lindy Allen for their assistance with this attribution.