Waddington’s Major Spring Auction of Inuit Art

May 8 – 13, 2021

Our major Spring 2021 auction of Inuit Art features classic sculpture from the 1950s, experimental prints from the early 1960s from the Cape Dorset print shop (Kinngait), and compelling contemporary works. Highlights include a unique double-sided Judas Ullulaq sculpture, works on cloth by Marion Tuu’luq and Irene Avaalaaqiaq, and a collection of graphics by Jessie Oonark. Also of note are two mother and child sculptures; one by John Tiktak and another by an unattributed Sanikiluaq artist. Other notable artists include Kenojuak Ashevak, Joe Talirunili, Johnny Inukpuk, and Karoo Ashevak.


JOHN TIKTAK, R.C.A. (1916-1981), Rankin Inlet / Kangiqliniq
stone, signed in syllabics, ca.1980
11.75 x 9 x 4 in — 29.8 x 22.9 x 10.2 cm
Estimate $25,000-$35,000

Mothers with their children was a subject of fascination to Tiktak. While in some versions, the subjects can seem strained or overburdened, this iteration is wonderfully serene. The child tilts his face up as if to catch the light, or to observe a passing bird.

Tiktak’s style is well-noted for its minimalism, rooted as it was in the hardness of the available stone, which limited the artist’s ability to capture detail. Yet there is something facile in this characterization, as if it was the stone itself that produced genius, rather than the artist who harnessed it.


UNIDENTIFIED, Belcher Islands / Sanikiluaq
stone, ivory, soap inlay,
6.5 x 5 x 2.25 in — 16.5 x 12.7 x 5.7 cm
Estimate $5,000-$6,000

This stunning early work by an unidentified Sanikiluaq artist is characteristic of the integral role of the mother in Inuit families and community. Frequently reflected in Inuit art, mothers are often depicted with their children in their arms or hoods (amauti) during the course of their everyday activities. While traditional in nature, the multi-tasking mother or maternal head of the family, continues to be a central figure in the present day.


KENOJUAK ASHEVAK, C.C., R.C.A. (1927-2013), Cape Dorset / Kinngait
stonecut, 43/50
19 x 24 in — 48.3 x 61 cm
Estimate $8,000-$12,000

While best known for her most celebrated print, The Enchanted Owl, Kenojuak’s other works featured in the 1960 Cape Dorset print collection, like Vision of Autumn, were also standout indications of her talent. The silhouetted image, mingling human and animal shapes is printed on coloured rolled ink backgrounds, based on a graphite pencil drawing.

Auction Details
This online auction opens Saturday, May 8 at 9 am ET and closes Thursday, May 13 at 8 pm ET.

Please visit our website to browse the online gallery and to find out how to register and participate in the auction. We also invite you to enjoy our downloadable digital catalogue for additional photographs and information.

Visit Us Virtually
While access to our gallery is restricted by COVID-19 precautionary measures, please contact us to find out more about the works in the auction, we’re happy to provide additional photographs, condition reports and virtual consultations.

Interested in Consigning to Our Auctions?
We’re always interested in discussing consignment opportunities to our auctions and we’re pleased to arrange complimentary, virtual appraisals of quality works of art. Don’t hesitate to contact us to make an appointment.

About Waddington’s
Waddington’s is Canada’s most diversified provider of auction and appraisal services, specializing in Asian, Canadian, Inuit and Indigenous, International and Contemporary Art, as well as Decorative Arts & Design, Fine Jewellery, and Fine Wine & Spirits.

Visit our website for details regarding access to our offices and gallery during COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding of the current circumstances.


For more information:
Tess McLean
Tel: 416.504.9100
Email: tm@waddingtons.ca
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