First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art

May 28, 2019

LOT 73

Lot 73


Lot 73 Details
NELSON TAKKIRUQ (1930-), E4-120, Gjoa Haven / Uqsuqtuuq


stone, ivory, wood, bone
signed in syllabics and dated 1987
13 x 8 x 4 in — 33 x 20.3 x 10.2 cm

Estimate $2,500-$3,500

Realised: $5,040
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images

an Ottawa private collection


Takkiruq was the brother of the famous Gjoa Haven sculptor Judas Ullulaq. The two brothers shared a sense of humour and positive attitude. Takkiruq’s figures typically are less likely to truly be full of angst, even if the style of their faces suggests just that. This work might be an exception.

Although identified simply as a Mother and Child, the imagery suggests that something less straightforward might be happening here. First, the woman seems to be wielding the harpoon hunter more in self-defense than in a hunting stance; the configuration of the harpoon itself is also unusual. Second and more importantly, the child’s face emerging from the woman’s hood is quite unsettling. We wonder if the woman might in fact be defending herself and her child from an evil spirit. Assuming that the face at back is actually her child’s…

References: for a selection of other works by Takkiruq see Darlene Coward Wight, Art & Expression of the Netsilik (Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2000), pp. 148-151. See also Ingo Hessel, Arctic Spirit (Heard Museum, 2006) cat. 109.

First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art Auction


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 73

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.