Inuit and First Nations Art

Auction begins to close:
November 30, 2023 at 7:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 120

Lot 120

Henry Hunt (K'ulut'a) (1923-1985)

Henry Hunt (K'ulut'a) (1923-1985)
Lot 120 Details
Henry Hunt (K'ulut'a) (1923-1985), Kwakwaka'wakw


red cedar
signed; old paper label affixed to the interior reads: "man from the sea"
10.25 x 9 x 7 in — 26 x 22.9 x 17.8 cm

Estimate $2,000-$4,000

Realised: $1,722
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
Henry Hunt (K'ulut'a) (1923-1985)
  • Henry Hunt (K'ulut'a) (1923-1985)
  • Henry Hunt (K'ulut'a) (1923-1985)
  • Henry Hunt (K'ulut'a) (1923-1985)

John Spangler Collection;
Seahawk Auctions, Burnaby, BC, 22 June 2014, lot 101;
Private Collection, Ontario


Henry Hunt is recognized as a key figure in the preservation and revival of Kwakwaka’wakw artistic traditions in the first half of the 20th century. A descendant of the important Tlingit-Kwakwaka’wakw interpreter, ethnologist, and field collector George Hunt, Henry came from a family that continues to influence public understanding of Pacific Northwest Coast art in Canada and abroad.

In 1939 Henry Hunt married Helen Martin, the adopted daughter of the Kwakwaka'wakw master carver Mungo Martin. Henry Hunt’s children would become well-known artists Henry Jr., Shirley Ford, Tony Hunt, Richard Hunt, and Stanley C. Hunt.

While Henry Hunt studied under influential artists Arthur Shaughnessy and Mungo Martin, he would ultimately develop his own influential style. Upon the latter’s death in 1962, Hunt succeeded Martin as the master carver at Thunderbird Park in Victoria, BC.

Hunt’s early carvings with their clearly defined line and bold volumes are sometimes mistakenly attributed to Martin. The present mask, carved at the time that Hunt succeeded Martin at Thunderbird Park, is closely related to an “Echo Mask” held in the collection of the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, cat. No. 25/3871, dated circa 1960.

Ira Jacknis, The Storage Box of Tradition : Kwakiutl Art, Anthropologists, and Museums, 1881-1981, (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 2002)
Jennifer Kramer, K̓esư : The Art and Life of Doug Cranmer, (Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 2012)

Related Works:

Henry Hunt, sap̓agamł (Echo Mask)
Henry Hunt, Raven Echo Mask


Overall very good condition. Minor imperfections commensurate with age.

Please contact the specialist for further condition information.

LOT 120

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.