First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art

May 28, 2019

LOT 34

Lot 34

ABRAHAM ETUNGAT, R.C.A. (1911-1999)

ABRAHAM ETUNGAT, R.C.A. (1911-1999)
Lot 34 Details
ABRAHAM ETUNGAT, R.C.A. (1911-1999), Cape Dorset / Kinngait


signed in syllabics
9 x 8 x 2.5 in — 22.9 x 20.3 x 6.4 cm

Estimate $2,500-$3,500

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

Lot Report

Additional Images
ABRAHAM ETUNGAT, R.C.A. (1911-1999)
  • ABRAHAM ETUNGAT, R.C.A. (1911-1999)
  • ABRAHAM ETUNGAT, R.C.A. (1911-1999)
  • ABRAHAM ETUNGAT, R.C.A. (1911-1999)
  • ABRAHAM ETUNGAT, R.C.A. (1911-1999)

a Montreal private collection


Out on the land, I have seen birds resting. They’re so beautiful with wings raised, stretching. I’ve looked at birds in flight and thought about carving them, but it’s too difficult (see Blakeman below).

Abraham Etungat was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy in 1978 and was granted at least seven solo exhibitions in his lifetime. Although his subject matter was quite varied (animals of all types as well as humans) it is his birds that have become famous with collectors. Depictions of birds in this particular pose by Etungat are popularly known as “Birds of Spring” in reference to the three large bronze replicas (in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary) of a carving so titled by the artist. This graceful version is particularly refined in its execution and positively majestic in its pose.

References: for other beautiful examples of Etungat birds see Ingo Hessel, Arctic Spirit, Heard Museum, 2006, cat. 68; Jean Blodgett, Selections from the John and Mary Robertson Collection of Inuit Sculpture (Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 1986) cat. 18. See also “Abraham Etungat, Master Sculptor” and Evelyn Blakeman, “Etungat at Home: Notes from an interview” in Arts & Culture of the North, Spring 1981, pp. 328-330.

First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art Auction


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 34

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.