First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art

May 28, 2019

LOT 66

Lot 66


Lot 66 Details
JOSIAH NUILAALIK (1928-2005), E2-385, Baker Lake / Qamani’tuaq


stone, antler
signed in syllabics,
8 x 9.5 x 4 in — 20.3 x 24.1 x 9.5 cm

Estimate $3,000-$5,000

Realised: $2,880
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
  • JOSIAH NUILAALIK (1928-2005)
  • JOSIAH NUILAALIK (1928-2005)
  • JOSIAH NUILAALIK (1928-2005)

a Toronto private collection


One of Jessie Oonark’s two surviving sons, Nuilaalik carved infrequently until the mid 1980s then quickly forged a reputation as one of Baker Lake’s most imaginative sculptors, renowned for both his spirit and shamanic imagery and the fluid, organic, smoothly rounded forms of his works. Nuilaalik’s gift was his ability to effortlessly blur the physical distinctions between human and animal bodies of various species. One of his greatest transformation sculptures, titled Wolf-Wasp Transformation of 1996, is truly a work of genius (see Hessel, Arctic Spirit, Heard, 2006, fig. 66 or Walker’s Nov. 2015, Lot 18).

Like many of Nuilaalik’s hybrid creatures and shamans, Caribou/Bear Shaman gazes skyward. Even the design of the artist’s trademark antlers adds to the sculpture’s shape-shifting, otherworldly aspect.

Reference: for several similar and related works by Nuilaalik see Marion Scott Gallery, Two Great Image Makers from Baker Lake (Vancouver, 1999). See also Walker’s Nov. 2012, Lot 80.

First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art Auction


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 66

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.