First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art

May 28, 2019

LOT 75

Lot 75

POSSIBLY LATE PUNUK OR THULE CULTURE

POSSIBLY LATE PUNUK OR THULE CULTURE
Lot 75 Details
POSSIBLY LATE PUNUK OR THULE CULTURE, Alaska or Canada

STANDING FEMALE FIGURE

bone
A.D. 1000-1400
5 x 1.75 x 1 in — 2.5 x 11 x 3.5 cm

Estimate $3,500-$5,000

Realised: $5,520
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
POSSIBLY LATE PUNUK OR THULE CULTURE
  • POSSIBLY LATE PUNUK OR THULE CULTURE
  • POSSIBLY LATE PUNUK OR THULE CULTURE
  • POSSIBLY LATE PUNUK OR THULE CULTURE
  • POSSIBLY LATE PUNUK OR THULE CULTURE
Provenance:

Bill Johnstone Collection, U.K.; Alaska Shop, NYC

Note:

It had been suggested that this work originates with Canada’s Dorset Culture, and we are open to that possibility. But we feel it may be more likely that this female figure may have been carved in the Late Punuk Period in Alaska, or perhaps in the early Thule Period, either in northern Alaska or Arctic Canada (see references below). Since the figure is considerably weathered there is no way of knowing if it had any engraved decoration, however it certainly possesses considerable sculptural presence. Its pose suggests that the figure may have had spiritual or ritual meaning, and that it was not simply carved as a doll.

References: for works with some stylistic resemblances see Allen Wardwell, Ancient Eskimo Ivories of the Bering Strait (Hudson Hills Press, 1986) fig 115 (also in William Fitzhugh et al, Gifts from the Ancestors, 2009, Fig. 17, p. 135); and Donald Ellis Gallery, Art of the Arctic: Reflections of the Unseen: Ivories from the Bering Sea (2015) pl. 20. See also Sculpture/Inuit (Canadian Eskimo Arts Council/U of T) cat. 42.

First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art Auction www.firstarts.ca

CONDITION DETAILS

For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 75
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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.