First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art

May 28, 2019

LOT 23

Lot 23


Lot 23 Details
NUYALIAQ QIMIRPIK (1937-2007), E7-99, Lake Harbour / Kimmirut


stone and antler
signed "NUYALIAK" and with disc number
17 x 15.5 x 17 in — 43.2 x 39.4 x 43.2 cm

Estimate $4,000-$6,000

Realised: $9,600
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
  • NUYALIAQ QIMIRPIK (1937-2007)
  • NUYALIAQ QIMIRPIK (1937-2007)
  • NUYALIAQ QIMIRPIK (1937-2007)

an Ottawa private collection


Most people think of Nuyaliaq Qimirpik as a carver of muskoxen. But for a period of perhaps no more than three years in the late 1960s, a small group of carvers in Kimmirut, led by Nuyaliaq, created a remarkable group of spirit carvings, apparently at the request of a local schoolteacher named Tony Whitbourne who was buying carvings for the government for a time – and then stopped. The same sort of spiritual flowering of art had occurred in nearby Cape Dorset in the early 1960s, in both graphic art and sculpture; however that florescence was more sustained, is far better documented, and never completely died out. Nuyaliaq’s Horned Spirit and Owl is one of the most important examples of this style that we have seen. It is every bit as poetic and haunting as the Cape Dorset examples we know and admire, and it is incredibly charming to boot. Wonderful stuff.

References: for other fine spirit sculptures by this artist see Bernadette Driscoll, Baffin Island (Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1983) cat. 57, or Darlene Wight, The Swinton Collection of Inuit Art (Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1987) cat. 134; Maria von Finckenstein ed., Celebrating Inuit Art 1948-1970 (Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1999) p. 129; George Swinton, Sculpture of the Inuit (McClelland & Stewart, 1972/92), fig. 517. For a similar work by Nuyaliaq’s brother Shorty Killiktee see Ingo Hessel, Inuit Art: An Introduction (Douglas & McIntyre, 1998) p. 93.

First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art Auction


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 23

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.