Inuit Art

December 0409, 2021
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Online Auction
LOT 79

Lot 79


Lot 79 Details
PETER PITSEOLAK (1902-1973), Kinngait (Cape Dorset)


23 x 18 x 15 in — 58.4 x 45.7 x 38.1 cm

Estimate $8,000-$12,000

Realised: $9,600
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
  • PETER PITSEOLAK (1902-1973)
  • PETER PITSEOLAK (1902-1973)
  • PETER PITSEOLAK (1902-1973)
  • PETER PITSEOLAK (1902-1973)

The Chair House Gallery of Folk Art, San Francisco, CA, 1975;
Fred and Laura Reif Collection of Inuit Art, Berkeley, CA


A complex and many-faceted figure, Peter Pitseolak was an important and powerful camp leader in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), once described by James Houston as “the most interesting man on the coast.” [1.] Pitseolak is primarily remembered today for his early attempts at documenting the changing Inuit culture through a series of photographs taken by the artist from the 1940s to the 1960s. Pitseolak is also known for his many prints, and late in life, a series of recordings and written testimonials about Inuit culture. Unknown to many, Pitseolak was also a technically skilled and ambitious carver. In 1955, along with fellow sculptor Osuitok Ipeeleee, Pitseolak was commissioned by the Crown to create a mace symbolic of legislative authority in the Northwest Territories for use in the House of Commons—an early and important recognition of Inuit arts. [2.]

We are pleased to present three rare sculptural works by Pitseolak (lots 10, 11, and 79).

This sculpture (lot 79) is accompanied by an original invoice, 1975.


1. Eber, Dorothy Harley. Images of Justice. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2005. p. 79

2. Crandall, Richard C. Inuit Art A History. Jefferson, North Carolina, and London: McFarland & Company. 111-112


Condition good.

Shallow loss 1 cm in width on reverse side of figure. Minor abrasions.

Please contact the specialist for further condition information.

LOT 79

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.