Quilt No.387VM - Valda Mentjox

Valda Mentjox
Valda Mentjox
NSW Sydney
Sam and Harriet Gibbs
Made in
1921 - 1940
Skin rug constructed from 9 wild dog peltsand the 3 light coloured middle pelts are dingo. Backed by blue serge, then pink cotton. Originally had scalloped pink edge. Attached with large herringbone stitches. New backing was put on in 1954. 1360 x 775mm

Sam Gibbs, wild dog trapper, tanned the skins with wattle bark tan and put them together. His wife Harriet did the rest of the sewing. The skin rug was made in the late 1930s and given to the present owner, Valda Mentjox, when she was 4. It is still used.
1360 x 775mm


Sam Gibbs (born 1886) was a wild dog trapper in South Australia. Doggers were paid for catching dingoes and dogs and Scorpion Springs, on the S.A. and Victorian border, and Emu Springs were likely bore holes for trapping. Sam married Harriet (born 1889) at Coorong School church in 1909. They had 11 children, 9 lived and 3 are still living (1998).
The skin rug was made in the late 1930s and given to the present owner, Valda Mentjox, when she was 4. She slept under it on car journeys and everyone in the family has used it ever since. It has never been used on the floor, always on a bed.

Sam Gibbs
Harriet in her vegetable and flower garden
The Gibbs home built by Sam Gibbs in the early 20s
Valda aged 2

Related Quilts:

Western Australian Museum
Kangaroo skin cloak of seven gores is made from the skins of seven grey kangaroos (Macropus fuliginosus). The skins vary in size and shape, the inner five are roughly triangular. The cloak is edged with a series of loops, through one of these near the collar is a piece of cloth which appears to have tied the cloak together. The skins are sewn together with two sorts of linen or cotton thread. In a small diamond-shaped gusset at the back of the neck there are some stitches of sinew. The skins are sewn together by means of a small hem which was turned back on to the fur, so stitches went through two layers of skin on each gore. There are some small holes in the skins. The skins are very soft and pliable, and greyish in colour; they vary in size and shape. Longest part: 800mm Ref: MA Thesis 1973, S.Meagher 'A Reconstruction of the Traditional Life of the Aborigines of the S.W. of Western Australia.
National Museum of Australia
Platypus skin rug. Skins are joined in 7 rows with the larger skins on the outside and the smaller ones in the centre. Skins are rich dark brown with yellow/cream sides (the belly fur). The backing is dark brown felt extending beyond the fur and with a stamped scalloped edge. 1720 x 1490mm
Museum Victoria
Possum skin cloak. Possum skins sewn together with vegetable fibre or kangaroo sinew. Designs incised into the skins, some of which are decorated with ochres. 2070 x 1540mm
Kim and Melissa L'Estrange
Fox skin rug of exceptionally fine skins with brushes incorporated into the design. It is backed with brown felt with traditional stamped scalloped edge. 1800 x 1500mm
Valda Mentjox
Rug made from 12 large kangaroo skins. There are 4 'reds' ,one in each corner and the rest are 'greys'. The backing is green felt with the traditional scalloped edge extending beyond the fur. There is also black rat tail braid outlining the actual rug on the backing. 1850 x 1520mm
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery
Rug made from skins of black quolls. The skins are dark grey-brown with black areas and each skin has cream spots. The skins are mainly machine stitched together with a few roughly hand sewn. The backing is maroon felt and this extends beyond the top with a scalloped edging. There is yellow ric-rac braid hand sewn on the back seam. 1300 x 885mm