First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art

May 28, 2019

LOT 19

Lot 19

FABIEN OOQAAQ (1923-1992)

FABIEN OOQAAQ (1923-1992)
Lot 19 Details
FABIEN OOQAAQ (1923-1992), Pelly Bay / Kugaaruk


3.5 x 1.5 x 1.25 in — 8.9 x 3.8 x 3.2 cm

Estimate $3,000-$4,500

Realised: $6,000
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
FABIEN OOQAAQ (1923-1992)
  • FABIEN OOQAAQ (1923-1992)
  • FABIEN OOQAAQ (1923-1992)
  • FABIEN OOQAAQ (1923-1992)
  • FABIEN OOQAAQ (1923-1992)

Norman Hallendy Collection, Ottawa


Oogaaq began carving around 1960, becoming perhaps the greatest of the Pelly Bay ivory miniaturists. Apparently he was also considered to be the best drum dancer in the community. Little is know about his early life beyond the fact that he was adopted by a close relative after his entire family was wiped out in a mysterious accident. Fisherman Carrying his Catch is quite justly the most famous of Oogaaq’s carvings. It radiates an air of monumentality, solidity, and stoicism that belies its small size and the precious quality of its material.

Exhibited and published: this work was included in the famous international touring exhibition Sculpture/Inuit of 1971-73, and is illustrated in the catalogue (Canadian Eskimo Arts Council/University of Toronto Press, 1971) cat. 106 (illus. in colour and b&w). Also published in George Swinton’s classic Sculpture of the Inuit (McClelland & Stewart, 1972/92), fig. 212.

References: for a similar work by Oogaaq see Darlene Coward Wight, Art & Expression of the Netsilik (Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2000), cat. 10 (also ill. in Wight, Creation and Transformation, WAG, 2012, cat. 24). For another gem by this artist see Walker’s Nov. 2014, Lot 104.

First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art Auction


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 19

About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.