Inuit Art Online Auction

June 01, 2017

LOT 235

Lot 235

MARY QAYUARYUK (1908-1982)

MARY QAYUARYUK (1908-1982)
Lot 235 Details
MARY QAYUARYUK (1908-1982), E7-1012, Cape Dorset / Kinngait


signed in syllabics with disc number, c. 1970
8" x 5" x 3" — 20.3 x 12.7 x 7.6 cm.

Estimate $400-$600

Realised: $252
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
MARY QAYUARYUK (1908-1982)
  • MARY QAYUARYUK (1908-1982)
  • MARY QAYUARYUK (1908-1982)
  • MARY QAYUARYUK (1908-1982)

The Sparham Collection of Inuit Art, Wales, U.K.


Terry Ryan has remarked on the respect that Mary Qayuaryuk (Kadjuajuk) commanded in the presence of other artists, similar to that of Kiakshuk and other older generation community leaders. Perhaps it had something to do with her stoicism in the face of adversity. Settlement Manager R.D. Sparham (see page 56, Waddington’s spring live auction catalogue) has written of her remarkable life. He tells of the time her mother and sisters were attacked by a polar bear, leaving only her one sister alive but mauled. That was not her only tragic story, as three months before he met Mary her whole family had almost been killed from eating poisoned seal meat. “Her husband, her son and a son-in-law all died from botulism poisoning.” However Mary promptly adopted her son’s boys and set-up a one room house with them, eking out a living for this little family by carving soapstone. Sparham describes her carving as “having a robust and primitive grace - and this piece of a standing woman is a good example. She has great humour and this shows in her marvelous quirky felt pen pictures which she does for the Eskimo Co-op. I have an example of such a picture in which a walrus’s head is humourously sticking out of the top of a skin tent!”
In 1971, Mary was the only woman elected to the Settlement Council. Sparham remembers, “She always fell asleep during policy discussions and upon awakening would raise a matter of local concern about the condition of the road near somebody’s house, or the failure to deliver water to such and such dwelling.”


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 235

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.