Inuit Art from Private Ontario Collections

April 1621, 2022
Auction begins to close at 2:00 pm ET

Online Auction

Lot 9

MOSES MEEKO (1920-1975)

MOSES MEEKO (1920-1975)
Lot 9 Details
MOSES MEEKO (1920-1975), Sanikiluaq (Belcher Islands)


stone, ivory
signed in Roman, disc number inscribed
9.5 x 3.5 x 8 in — 24.1 x 8.9 x 20.3 cm

Estimate $300-$500

Realised: $510
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
MOSES MEEKO (1920-1975)
  • MOSES MEEKO (1920-1975)
  • MOSES MEEKO (1920-1975)
  • MOSES MEEKO (1920-1975)

Private collection, Hamilton, ON


Carved while in residence at the the Mountain Sanatorium (now Chedoke Campus) in Hamilton Ontario, this early circa 1955 composition by Sanikiluaq (Belcher islands) artist Moses Meeko illustrates the artist’s capability for rendering compelling figures that often deviate from strictly “correct” anatomical proportions (note the curious emphasis on the head of the walrus).

The Mountain sanatorium in Hamilton was a facility designated as a tuberculosis treatment center for the Eastern Arctic which hosted over 1,200 Inuit between 1953 and 1963.

As a form of occupational therapy, and at the request of hospital residents, male patients would carve, while women would sew, embroider, and make dolls in their beds. [1] Many carvings made during stays at the sanatorium are unsigned and remain unidentified. We are pleased to present here four examples of works made at the Mountain Sanatorium by named artists (lots 9,10, and 11 of this auction, and lot 46 of Small Wonders of Inuit art).

Artworks made by talented artists while patients at the Mountain Sanatorium were the subject of a 2017 exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton titled “Carving Home: The Chedoke Collection of Inuit Art.”

Related works:

Art Gallery of Hamilton, Col. No. 2016.13.23.
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Waddington’s Auctioneers and Appraisers, November 18, 2013, lot 290.
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1. Sutherland, Caitlin, “Carving Home: The Chedoke Collection of Inuit Art”, Inuit Art Quarterly. December 5, 2017

Many countries prohibit or restrict importation or exportation of property containing ivory, whale bone, sealskin, and/or products derived from other endangered or protected species, and require special licenses or permits in order to import or export such property. It is the responsibility of the buyer to ensure that the item is properly and lawfully exported / imported. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our specialists for further details.


Scattered minor abrasions, tusk of walrus missing from left side, accouterment missing from hunters left hand, break and old repair to hunters hood, overall good condition.

Please contact the specialist for further condition information.


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.