'Inuit art is still a relatively affordable art form.'
Cape Dorset seal image fetches $64,000 at auction
The global economic slowdown didn't appear to slow down the bidding at a recent auction of Inuit art in Toronto.
Some 700 works of Inuit art were up for sale November 10 and 11.
Works from the early years of Inuit art production, from 1950 to 1970, fetched he highest prices.
"A Man Hunting At A Seal Hole In The Ice," a 1959 stencil by Cape Dorset artist Niviaxie, set the highest price of the auction.
The image in blue of a seal hunter waiting to strike sold for $64,600.
"Inuit art is still a relatively affordable art form," said Christa Ouimet, director of Inuit art at Waddington's auction house.
The two-day auction, which included works by Pauta Saila, Jessie Oonark, Henry Evaluardjuk, George Tataniq, and John Tiktak, took in $1.2 million.
A carving of "The Migration," likely made during the 1960s by Puvirnituq carver Joe Talirunili, carried a pre-sale estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. It sold for $25,200.
Waddington's had set the record for an Inuit carving at its auction in 2006 when a similar piece by Talirunili sold for $278,000.
"The migration" shows an incident from Talirunili's infancy. On the way from his baptism, Talirunili's family was trapped on an ice floe. To escape, they made an umiaq and paddled to safety.
A carving of a mother and child by Inukjuak artist Isa Smiler, which was made around 1950, sold at the auction for $48,000, exceeding its estimated sale price of $30,000.