Inuit Art

November 19, 2019

LOT 92

Lot 92

OSUITOK IPEELEE, R.C.A. (1923-2005)

OSUITOK IPEELEE, R.C.A. (1923-2005)
Lot 92 Details
OSUITOK IPEELEE, R.C.A. (1923-2005), Cape Dorset / Kinngait


stone, antler, wood, sinew
signed in syllabics
18.5 x 10.5 x 6 in — 47 x 26.7 x 15.2 cm

Estimate $30,000-$40,000

Realised: $50,400
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
OSUITOK IPEELEE, R.C.A. (1923-2005)
  • OSUITOK IPEELEE, R.C.A. (1923-2005)
  • OSUITOK IPEELEE, R.C.A. (1923-2005)
  • OSUITOK IPEELEE, R.C.A. (1923-2005)

Private Collection, Florida
Marion Scott Gallery, Vancouver


Alma Houston, Inuit Art: An Anthology, Winnipeg, MB, 1988, p.42-52


Osuitok Ipeelee’s singular attention to form, technical mastery and ingenuity had earned him a reputation as the best carver on Baffin Island in the early 1950's. He also caught the attention of James and Alma Houston who were visiting Port Harrison / Inukjuak at the time; James Houston would travel to Cape Dorset / Kinngait specifically to seek out the talented artist.

Osuitok continues to rank as one of Canada’s most accomplished artists, gaining international acclaim for his work. Fisherwoman is a fine example of the appealing, realistic female forms that the artist so enjoyed creating. She is strong yet graceful, her delicate features animated with fierce victory as she spears a fish.

Osuitok was known for the fine details in his work, a highly-detailed piece such as this generally would take him about a week to complete. In addition to the finely-incised patterns on her clothing, the fish, which would normally be a minute detail of a carving of this stature, has been elegantly rendered with great care. For him, it was small considerations like this that made the carving whole. In Jean Blodgett’s article on Osuitok, she wrote, “The really successful finished carving is a resolved, complete statement. Detail work helps realize the final sculptural form, making it ‘as if it were real’.” (p. 52)


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 92

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.