The Other World: Spirits, Demons, and Visions of Transformation
March 12 — 17, 2022
Auction begins to close at 2:00 pm ET
Private Collection, Ontario
Originally, Greenlandic tupilaqs were dangerous magical objects, sometimes said to be made from the bones of dead animals wrapped in skins; they were considered to have the power to bring about death. The carving of small tupilaq figures made for sale or trade began in East Greenland in the early Twentieth century, spreading to West Greenland in the 1930s.
Twentieth century tupilaqs, typically carved in ivory or muskox horn, often appear (as here) gleefully pursuing the macabre ends of their historic counterparts.
Bodil, Kaalund, The Art of Greenland: Sculpture, Crafts, and Painting. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1979. p. 25-27 and 67-75.
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.