The Ottawa Citizen reports that bidders from 17 countries drove Walker’s Fine Art and Estate Auction’s sale of John and Mary Robertson’s Inuit collection of 115 works made $400,000. Auctioneer Jeff Walker told the paper there were 200 additional bidders in the room:
“We were pleasantly surprised by the reception,” he said. “The depth of interest and the breadth of the geographic bidding locations is proving the depth of the market for really rare pieces with good provenance.”
He said the average sale price was 19 per cent higher than the estimated price.
Among the highlights of the auction was the sale of “Hunter and walrus.” Made in the 1950s by Akeeaktashuk, from Inukjuak, the piece was expected to go for between $8,000 and $12,000 but brought in $31,860.
Among the other surprises were some of the drawings. One, a coloured pencil drawing by Luke Anguhadluq of Baker Lake from the mid 1970s, sold for $5,900. Another drawing, also a 1970s work from Baker Lake, this one by Jessie Oonark, sold for $14,160.
A 1960 print from famous Cape Dorset artist Kenojuak Ashevak sold for $22,420.
An antler sculpture by Luke Iksiktaaryuk of Baker Lake, with nine figures on a base, also went for $22,420.
Inuit art at Ottawa auction stirs up interest from 17 countries (Ottawa Citizen)