Bridie Smith for The Age reports on a new sale record: A SHIELD sold at a Sydney auction last night for $84,000, setting a record price for an Aboriginal artefact sold at auction.

The kidney-shaped shield, collected from far north-eastern Queensland by Scot Robert Stewart during the 1860s or 1870s, was carved from hardwood and features a totemic design in red, yellow and white pigments with a black outline.

The rainforest shield had been tipped to sell for between $70,000 and $100,000.

The age of the shield, which stands 120 centimetres tall and 40 centimetres wide, is not known but Stewart’s collection was highly regarded. Much of it went on display at Culgruff House in Kirkcudbrightshire for more than 120 years following Stewart’s return to Scotland as a retired squatter in 1882