Inuit Art

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December 09, 2021 at 7:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 82

Lot 82

TUDLIK (1890-1966)

 TUDLIK (1890-1966)
Lot 82 Details
TUDLIK (1890-1966), Kinngait (Cape Dorset)


unsigned, circa 1955
6 x 4 x 2 in — 15.2 x 10.2 x 5.1 cm

Estimate $4,000-$6,000

Realised: $14,640
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
 TUDLIK (1890-1966)
  •  TUDLIK (1890-1966)
  •  TUDLIK (1890-1966)
  •  TUDLIK (1890-1966)
  • 3D Image

Fred and Laura Reif Collection of Inuit Art, Berkeley, CA


In looking at Tudlik’s iconic owls, it is remarkable to consider that they were carved by an artist born in 1890. Effortlessly modern, their plump masses and truncated arrow-shaped wings are charged with sign-like directionality and clarity of form.

Tudlik’s eyesight was significantly diminished by the late 1950s. Scholars sometimes hint at this impediment as the source of the simplicity and tactility in his work. [1] Whatever the reason, Tudlik’s genius for refinement and his grasp of the essential in his subject matter is unquestionable. “Families” of owls carved by Tudlik are almost unknown to the market, and yet he appears to have conceived some as groupings. One such grouping (contemporary to the examples offered here and dated 1957) is illustrated in the 1971 publication Sculpture/Inuit (p. 196).

Here Tudlik's owls are again presented as a family. This adds an interactive dimension through the interplay of their shifting postures, and alert eyes. The composition is pure Tudlik through and through--a joy to behold.

Related works:

See: Houston, James, George Swinton, William E. Taylor Jr. Sculpture/Inuit. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1971. p. 196.


1. Swinton, George. Sculpture of the Eskimo. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart Ltd. 1972. p. 8.


Condition very good.

Please contact the specialist for further condition information.

LOT 82

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.