Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Basket, bicornual, made of cane.

  • Ethnic name

  • Date

    • 19thc (before 1900)
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 33 centimetres
    • Height: 30 centimetres
    • Diameter: 24 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Register addition "Cairns district" Register addition "Malgrave".Rigid open baskets from the Queensland rainforest region are traditionally made by men. Their design and decoration varies according to how they were to be used. Men made smaller painted baskets to hold their belongings and ceremonial objects. Unpainted baskets were used to hold food, and men sometimes used them to carry babies.This object was one of a larger collection which the donor, Miss F M Walker, described as having been collected by her brother in north Queensland some ‘thirty years ago’. Without any direct information from Miss Walker’s brother, the registrar in 1933 recorded his opinion that the collection came from ‘?Malgrave, Cairns District’. It appears Malgrave was a misspelling of the locality Mulgrave, near Cairns.


  • Bibliography

    • Bolton 2011 p.36 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2011 26 May-11 Sep, London, BM, G91, Baskets and Belonging: Indigenous Australian Histories
    2015 23 Apr-2 Aug, London, BM, G35, Indigenous Australia: enduring civilisation

  • Conservation

    See treatments 

    Treatment date

    27 October 2010

    Reason for treatment


    Treatment proposal

    Flake lay, light clean.


    The object showed a saturated shiny appereance. It was treated with soluble nylon in 1973. Paint generally appears stable, some localised yellow paint mobile. Loose fibres on basketry handle. Coated with dust.

    There was a rusty (iron?) fish hook inserted in the attachement of the handle of the basket. It was uncertain whether this belonged to the object or it was used in the past for hanging the object on a museum display.

    Treatment details

    Mobile or flaking paint was consolidated with Lascaux 4176 Medium for Consolidation applied with a fine sable brush. The area to be consolidated was previously wetted with White Spirits to aid penetration of the consolidant.

    The object was surface cleaned using a soft sable brush and the low powered museum vacuum cleaner with the nozzle protected with a piece of net not to remove unwanted particles.

    Loose fibres were secured with arrowroot starch (9%) / sodium alginate (1%) paste and Japanese tissue paper toned with acrylic paints to match the colour of the fibres. The paper was wrapped around the broken ens of the fibres and secured with arrowroot/sodium alginate paste.

    The rusty hook was protected with a removable piece of Plastazote (polyethylene) to avoid any possible damage whilst handling.

    About these records 

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Register information: 'Collected by donor's brother 30 years ago.'

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number


Dilly bag made of cane.

Dilly bag made of cane.

Image description



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Object reference number: EOC29306

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