First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art

May 28, 2019

LOT 21

Lot 21

MARK TUNGILIK (1913-1986)

MARK TUNGILIK (1913-1986)
Lot 21 Details
MARK TUNGILIK (1913-1986), E3-320, Repulse Bay / Naujaat


ivory, stone and sinew
signed in syllabics and with disc no.
4.75 x 2.25 x 4.25 in — 12.1 x 5.7 x 10.8 cm

Estimate $2,500-$3,500

Realised: $2,400
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report


Norman Hallendy Collection, Ottawa


Mark Tungilik is probably the most famous Inuit ivory miniature carver. He was born in the Spence Bay (Taloyoak) area (in 1904, his daughter believes) then moved to Pelly Bay and finally Naujaat. Roman Catholic missionaries had been encouraging local Inuit to carve Inuit and Christian imagery in ivory already in the early 1940s, so Tungilik was already a skilled artist by the time James Houston showed up in 1950 to encourage carving production.

Bow Hunter and Two Birds is a classic example of the 1960s ivory miniature genre; a delicately rendered and beautifully balanced composition. Tungilik’s artistry is apparent not only in the carving of the figures themselves but also in the creation of an enchanting little self-enclosed world.

References: for ivory hunting and fishing scenes by Tungilik dating as far back as the 1940s see Lorraine Brandson, Carved from the Land (Eskimo Museum, Churchill) 1994, pp. 90 and 142; Darlene Coward Wight, The Jerry Twomey Collection (Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2003) p. 109.

First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art Auction


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 21

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.