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Rare Aboriginal photos to go under hammer

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 5 October 2004

A pair of 19th century photo albums containing images of secret Aboriginal ceremonies will go to auction in Melbourne today.

The photos were taken by two of Australia's most important anthropologists, Sir Walter Baldwin Spencer and Francis Gillen.

They have been stored in a shed in country Victorian and are expected to fetch between $150,000 and $250,000.

Sotheby's Aboriginal art director Tim Klingender says the collection will remain in Australia.

"We've had some serious interest from international collectors and archives overseas, and institutions for that matter, and we've had to explain to them that they would never get an export permit and we would actually encourage them not to bid," he said.

"We've told them that they can buy them by law but they would have to keep them within Australia and that has obviously made them decide not to bid."

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