Looking Backward: Archaic Arctic Art and Artifacts
July 09 — 14, 2022
Auction begins to close at 3:00 pm ET
Female Figure, Punuk or Early Thule, Sivuqaq (St. Lawrence Island), ca. 500-1000 CE
Bill Johnstone collection, Carlisle, UK
Mantel, Ken, Tuvaq: Inuit Art and the Modern World, (Bristol: Sansom and Company Ltd., 2010), 191, pl. 196.
Exhibiting the formalized linear style associated with Punuk expression, the figure bears facial tattooing of a manner in keeping with the visible gender identity of the depiction. Physically large by contrast to its diminutive Okvik predecessors, the present work has an accordingly substantial presence. The characteristic Punuk inclusion of truncated forearms, (appendages wholly absent in Okvik figuration) does not disrupt the aesthetically compact profile of the figure, which is characterized by a subtle taper approaching the elongated lanceolate head of the sculpture.
Fitzhugh, William W., Julie Hollowell, and Aron L. Crowell, Ancient Gifts from the Ancestors; Ancient Ivories of the Bering Strait, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009), 199, pl. 15.
Wardell, Allen, Ancient Eskimo Ivories of the Bering Strait, (New York: Hudson Hills Press Inc., 1986), 97, pl. 114.
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