First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art

May 28, 2019

LOT 67

Lot 67

Attributed to: JOHN ATTOK (1906-1980)

Attributed to: JOHN ATTOK (1906-1980)
Lot 67 Details
Attributed to: JOHN ATTOK (1906-1980), E1-83, Eskimo Point / Arviat


c. 1965-1968
9.75 x 10.5 x 4.75 in — 29.2 x 20.3 x 11.4 cm

Estimate $3,000-$4,500

Realised: $3,120
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
Attributed to: JOHN ATTOK (1906-1980)
  • Attributed to: JOHN ATTOK (1906-1980)
  • Attributed to: JOHN ATTOK (1906-1980)
  • Attributed to: JOHN ATTOK (1906-1980)
  • Attributed to: JOHN ATTOK (1906-1980)

a Hamilton private collection


Mother and Child is a naively conceived but imposing and quite compelling sculpture, unusually large for this period in Arviat art. The figure of the mother is powerfully built yet gaunt; she has pulled her amautiq down in order to nurse her toddler. The work has a haunting quality that makes us wonder whether it depicts the figures in a time of famine. One touching aspect of the work is the simple but lovely way in which the artist has shown the mother’s braids at the back.

Not much is known about John Attok but he is considered to be one of the major talents from these early years. He was never prolific however and may not have carved much in stone after about 1970.

References: for important works by Attok see Darlene Wight, The Swinton Collection of Inuit Art (Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1987) cat. 77; Bernadette Driscoll, Eskimo Point/Arviat (WAG, 1982) cats. 22-23; George Swinton,
Sculpture of the Inuit (McClelland & Stewart, 1972/92), figs. 65, 80; and Sculpture/Inuit (CEAC/U of T, 1971) figs. 103, 288.

First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art Auction


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 67

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.