Joe Talirunili


JOE TALIRUNILI (1893-1976)


c. 1970, signed in Roman
4.5" x 7.5" x 2.5" — 11.4 x 19.1 x 6.4 cm.

November 16, 2015

Estimate $20,000-$30,000

Realised: $163,500

Price Realised: $163,500

A diminutive sculpture by legendary Inuit artist Joe Talirunili titled Joe’s Escape, sold for $163,500 at Waddington’s in Toronto on November 16.

The highest price for Inuit Art achieved at auction in 2015, Joe’s Escape joins the ranks of numerous record-setting prices for Inuit Art set by Waddington’s over its 35 years in the Inuit Art market.

Christa Ouimet, Head of Inuit Art at Waddington’s, notes that “Works by Joe Talirunilli, specifically Joe’s boats, which are his most collectable subject matter, routinely sell for over $100,000, and have sold as high as our record price of $290,000 set in 2012.” Ouimet adds that, “Not only is Talirunili the ‘top seller’ of all Inuit artists, the prices his works achieve are at the same level of other well-known Canadian artists.”

In the market Talirunili ranks second to Bill Reid, and outperforms most Canadian sculptors. Joe also enjoys a great deal of international interest.


Related Items



signed in Roman and syllabics, c. 1970
5 ins x 5.5 ins x 1.5 ins; 12.7 cms x 14 cms x 3.8 cms

May 30, 2016

Estimate $15,000-$20,000

Realised: $55,200

JOE TALIRUNILI (1893-1976)


c. 1970, bears paper label with signature in Roman and syllabics
15" x 14" x 6.5" — 38.1 x 35.6 x 16.5 cm.

November 05, 2012

Estimate $100,000-$150,000

Realised: $290,000

JOE TALIRUNILI (1893-1976)


c. 1975
11.5" x 10.5" x 3.5" — 29.2 x 26.7 x 8.9 cm.

June 02, 2014

Estimate $120,000-$140,000

Realised: $140,500

KAROO ASHEVAK (1940-1974)


signed in syllabics
19.5" x 13" x 17" — 49.5 x 33 x 43.2 cm.

November 16, 2015

Estimate $30,000-$35,000

Realised: $50,400

Inuit & Indigenous Art

Waddington’s is internationally recognized as one of the leading authorities in marketing Inuit Art. No other auction house has been as intrinsically linked to the development of a market for this art form. From our first landmark auction in 1978 of the William Eccles Collection, Waddington’s has offered thousands of works, set record prices, and expanded the market well beyond Canada’s borders. Our legacy of successful Inuit Art auctions, our ability to achieve continually increasing values and our creation of an international market have been key factors in validating Inuit art as a whole and establishing it as an integral part of the Canadian Art scene.

Meet the Specialist

Rochelle Konn
Rochelle Konn

Consignment Coordinator

Canadian Fine Art, Inuit & Indigenous Art


Duncan McLean
Duncan McLean


Inuit & Indigenous Art, Management


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