Canadian Art Spring Season 2018

Lot 31
Sorel Etrog
War Remembrance

Linda Rodeck Introduces our Spring 2018 Canadian Art Season.

For centuries, trading merchandise from far and wide has proven lucrative to industrious merchants, particularly those who specialized in luxurious or rare goods. But throughout history such trade has also generated significant intellectual, spiritual and philosophical dividends.
I can't help thinking about the great Spice Routes and Silk Roads when I think of auction season. Each spring and fall, an auction house will assemble thousands of precious items, brought from all over the world and from all time periods. It wasn't so long ago, for example, that Waddington's sold a woolly mammoth tusk! These items exhibit a rare beauty which is often the primary reason they are desired but there are also magnificent stories that attach themselves to objects.  
Waddington's Spring 2018 Canadian art sale, which is comprised of 160 lots, represents 160 amazing creation stories, biographies or histories about each lot's maker, their subject, their execution, their owners both prior and current, and their significance in the past, present and future. Each sale is a fascinating installment in the story of Canadian art-making and collecting.
Join us on a journey of discovery this season by reading some of the stories you will find in our Canadian Art auction catalogue or stop by our previews to hear some of the wonderful anecdotes our specialists can provide in person. 

To view the Auction Gallery and PDF Catalogue: click here

Auction: Monday, May 28 at 7:00 p.m.

On View:

Friday, May 25 from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Saturday, May 26 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 27 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Monday, May 28 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Or by appointment.

Preview and auction take place at Waddington's.

To find out more:

Posted: 5/1/2018 12:00:00 AM
By: Linda Rodeck

News from Concrete Contemporary Art & Projects

As we turn the corner into our Spring 2018 auction season, we have some exciting news to share about Concrete Contemporary Auctions and Projects in our ongoing effort to create more opportunities for Canadian contemporary works.

This season we are presenting our Concrete Contemporary auctions in conjunction with the Canadian, Inuit, and Indigenous Art departments at Waddington’s. That means that rather than hold stand-alone auctions of Canadian contemporary art, all works consigned to us for sale will either be offered in our new, bi-monthly Canadian Art Select online auctions or will be placed into our bi-annual Canadian Fine Art live auctions. These cross-departmental auctions will greatly increase the exposure of Canadian contemporary art to other areas of the market.

Our Canadian Fine Art auction on May 28 will include major works by Carol Wainio, Michael Adamson and a rare work by Mike Bayne as part of the contemporary component of the auction.

The Canadian Art Select online auction in April will also feature a number of impressive contemporary works. Consignments to both auctions are still open with an end of March deadline for the Canadian Fine Art auction and consignments to the Canadian Select auction open on an ongoing basis. The consignment process will continue to be a seamless experience with property curated by Stephen Ranger and Kristin Vance.

Over the past five years we have set auction records and created secondary markets for dozens of important contemporary artists -- our new format promises to expand on this mandate. And we will continue to focus on Canadian Contemporary Art with a renewed focus on exhibitions, events and ongoing special projects.

Please contact Kristin Vance at to discuss sale dates and deadlines.

As always, we look forward to seeing you in our galleries.


Valerie Palmer Lighthouse Price Realised: $43,200
Tim Zuck Two Shapes Price Realised: $7,800
Posted: 3/10/2018 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger

February's Fine Wines & Spirits

Earlier this month our very own Joann Maplesden was invited to talk about investing in wine to a group of women interested in alternative assets. Having worked in the Fine Wine and service industry for over 25 years, Joann is immeasurably qualified to speak knowledgably about what to buy, how to store, when to drink, and when to sell. She also has a deep understanding of the food and wine culture, which is at the core of what many collectors are interested in.

The advice she gave is what an expert in any field would give to a novice investor:

  • Read and taste widely.
  • Buy the best you can afford; it will always reward you.
  • Immerse yourself in the world of wine, there is so much to learn and it’s also a lot of fun.
  • Don’t expect to know everything overnight. While it might be easy to chase just the big names - the first-growth Bordeaux and Grand Cru Burgundy, there is also great value and pleasure to be found just a little off the beaten path, in the wines of the Rhône Valley or Piedmonte, in Spain, Sonoma or Margaret River.
  • Remember to differentiate between investing for pleasure and investing for profit.
  • And remember - the rewards of sharing a well-cellared wine are ample!

This month’s Fine Wine and Spirits auctions offer wines for the novice collector, seasoned collector and the sommelier. Led by a lovely selection of well-cellared wine from the acclaimed Rundles restaurant of Stratford, Ontario, the auction goes deep into world-class Burgundy and California Cabernet Sauvignon. There are numerous mixed lots for current drinking pleasure, investment grade lots for the collector and wines ready for the spring and fall festivals. There is a plethora of Château Pétrus from numerous vintages, an awesome selection of wines from Rousseau and Leroy and a very special flight of Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon.

Please make use of our Wine Search tool at to make finding wines of interest that much easier.

We hope you enjoy this auction as much as we enjoyed assembling it for you.

Please also note our consignment deadline for the May auction is fast approaching. Wines for consideration should be sent to us by March 16, 2018.

Cheers, Stephen Joann Devin

Posted: 2/15/2018 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger

The Martin Brothers – A Private Collection

Martin Brothers Stoneware Bird Tobacco Jar, R.W. Martin & Bros., 1914 Est. $15,000 - 20,000

Comprised of nearly 100 pieces, this auction includes an intriguing mixture of sculptural objects and pots, most notably a small flock of Robert Wallace Martin’s ‘Wally birds’.

Working in late Victorian-era London, the Martin Brothers are considered to have been pioneers in transforming decorative arts from the stale formalism of the Victorian era to a more whimsical and naturalistic style that foreshadowed the Art Nouveau movement.

While holding appeal to the eclecticism characteristic of Victorian times, many of their sculptures took on disturbing and bewildering forms and personalities. The most celebrated examples can be found among Robert Wallace Martin’s grotesque bird sculptures, which may function as tobacco jars or vases, but are highly stylised to resemble the sometimes deviant human subjects after whom they were modelled. 

Eclectic to the core, the Martin Brothers' work bears the influence of art and architecture from the Middle Ages and Gothic periods, but much of their unique pottery exists in a category of its own. Among recognizable Martinwares, their sculpted ‘face jugs’, gothic stoneware vases and spoon warmers resembling monsters, portrayals of mythical creatures and classical figures, and the use of sea life motifs and other fantasy-imbued images are all very well represented in this collection. View the catalogue.

Please be sure to meet all the characters in this extraordinary collection at our preview opening at 12:00 noon on Friday, December 1, at Waddington's in Toronto.

Bill Kime Senior Specialist


Posted: 11/29/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Bill Kime

Concrete Contemporary Art Auction

Lot 50 - KIM DORLAND Bush Party #6

The Fall 2017 Concrete Contemporary Art auction is perhaps the most diverse offering we have yet to put forward. Iconic abstractions by David Bolduc and Michael Adamson are offered side-by-side with a figurative Kim Dorland painting, while illustrative works by Marcel Dzama and Gary Taxali compliment the photo-based works of Barbara Astman and the Sanchez Brothers.

Two haunting landscapes by Wanda Koop are contrasted by a print featuring Alex McLeod’s futuristic, made-up world and mythical paintings by Stephen Appleby-Barr. Canada’s regions are all well represented; the range of works highlighting the diverse and abundant creativity of this country.

Once again we have partnered with for this live auction, inviting bidders from all over the world as we work to expand our market for Canadian contemporary art.

We look forward to seeing you in the gallery this season and thank you for your support of Canadian Contemporary Art.

Stephen Ranger, Senior Specialist


Monday, November 27 at 7:00 p.m.



Posted: 11/27/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Stephen Ranger


This past Tuesday, 139 works of Inuit and Northwest Coast artwork were presented for auction at Waddington’s, the premier auction house for Inuit art and now in our 39th year of conducting Inuit art auctions. The energy from a week of exhibition culminated in our busiest preview ever and carried directly over into spirited bidding during the sale.

Highlights of the auction include:

  • Over 90% of works sold, well above industry standard, resulted in elated consigners and buyers alike.
  • Feverish bidding led to prices repeatedly exceeding the healthy pre-auction estimates for early stonecuts and stencils. Three iconic Niviaxie stencils were each hammered down above the $10,000 mark.
  • Sculptural form took precedence for collectors, with the elegant and understated 20” caribou by Osuitok Ipeelee selling for nearly $30,000.
  • Impressive prices were also commanded from our curated selection of small-scale sculptures, such as Judas Ullulaq’s wonderful 6” work in antler, which sold for almost three times its estimate at $2,840.
  • Contemporary works from artists such as Bill Nasogaluak and Suvinai Ashoona sold well and within or above estimate.
  • The strong interest displayed for the Northwest Coast works during the previews resulted in 11 pieces selling for over a combined $30,000.

This year, we made some long overdue changes to how we present Inuit artwork in our catalogues. The Inuit community names are now included. Artists’ names are now also displayed in Inuktitut syllabics. Furthermore, Inuit artists' disc numbers – rooted as they are in the colonial system – have been removed from the catalogue descriptions, and now only appear in the index for reference.

It was particularly nice to see some familiar faces reappear during the auction and previews this season, as well as to connect with some new collectors. The interest in the artform is truly in a transition period between long-standing collectors - to those newer to it, and the interaction between these collector profiles is exciting to see and is reflected in the results of the sale. For further information about this auction or consigning with us in the future, please contact me directly. Thank you to all of our consignors and buyers for a wonderful evening.

Christa Ouimet
Senior Specialist




Lot 60 NIVIAXIE HUNTER WITH BEAR                                REALISED: $13,200




Posted: 11/23/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Having our colours done - for the fall season

I may be the only person old enough in the Canadian and Inuit Art departments to remember the craze of “having your colours done”. Trained colour consultants would be engaged to find colours for their clients to wear that best complemented their complexion, eyes, and hair colour, thereby enhancing one’s attractiveness and boosting one’s confidence. People were categorized as Seasons. Cool colour palettes were “Winters”, warm muted colours were “Falls”. You get the idea.

We know colour can have a powerful effect on us. Whether dramatic, sophisticated, soothing or subtle, colour impacts our mood and carries varied - even contradictory- cultural meaning. Our reaction to colour serves both a biological purpose, and an aesthetic ambition. 

Each season, one of our favourite projects leading up to the auction preview, which begins tomorrow (dates and times below), is determining the set up of our preview gallery in order to best enhance the works of art being offered that season. This involves decisions about layout, placement of lots, lighting and choice of wall colour. While I suspect I can be somewhat dictatorial about some of these decisions, the fact is they are largely predetermined by the sale itself. Once we reach our consignment deadline and begin laying out our catalogue, it becomes very apparent that we have a “blue” sale or a “coral” sale or a “violet” sale. Inevitably, one colour or two seems to dominate, and the rest falls into place accordingly.

This year, several key paintings inspired our choice of wall colour and we have developed spaces that contain families of paintings and sculpture which play off one another. They have been set in environments that have been prepared to enhance your ability to read them and enjoy them.

While Russell Foster, a neuroscientist at Oxford, maintains “The whole point of colour vision is not to inspire poets, but to allow contrast detection,” (Tom Chivers, February 2015, The Telegraph), I can’t help but take a slightly less scientific position. And while I can’t argue with an Oxford intellect, I hope the layout and design of our saleroom both pleases and inspires you. Please join us this season for a dose of chromotherapy.

(Oh, and in case you were wondering, I’m a “Summer”).

Linda G. Rodeck, Senior Specialist





Canadian Fine Art Auction
Monday, November 20 at 7:00 pm

On View:

Thursday, November 16 from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Friday, November 17 from 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Saturday, November 18 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday, November 19 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Monday November 20 from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

View the Auction Gallery

Posted: 11/15/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Linda Rodeck

November's Rich Offerings


While we’ve never had lunch together, exchanged greeting cards or, in truth, even met, my “good friend” Heather Reisman rarely lets me down.

When I am wandering around Indigo not quite finding the right read for the weekend, time and again I have relied on one of “Heather’s Picks”. Last week, it was Sapiens: A brief history of humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. It wasn’t long before I found myself identifying with our earliest ancestors.

Harari writes that for nearly our entire history Sapiens have lived as foragers and that even today “our brains and minds are adapted to a life of hunting and gathering.” I can tell you that there is a lot of hunting and gathering that goes in to putting together an auction and like the early Sapiens I, too, “roam from place to place in search of food”, with which to stock the auction catalogue larder; I, too, am “influenced by the changing seasons” and “explore new lands opportunistically” looking for areas that are rich in what will sustain us.

The life of a forager was varied, interesting, and rewarding we are told, and I can attest that the life of a modern art forager (that’s forager not forger) can also be very rewarding. “The forager's secret of success” says Harari “was their varied diet”.

Likewise, in this season’s sale you will find a “varied diet” of works of art that span hundreds of years of Canadian painting, that come from or were painted by artists from all over our enormous nation (my primary hunting ground) and which reflect, stylistically and attitudinally, myriad positions, schools and periods of Canadian Art making.

We hope you will take the time to work your way through the rich offerings of this season, stopping here and there to sample some of the fine works we have harvested for your enjoyment.

Click here for auction details


Posted: 11/7/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Linda Rodeck

Hey Our Vancouver Friends!

Emily Carr, Forest Clearing. Realised: $472,000

Considering selling a work of art? Need advice on estate planning or downsizing as it relates to understanding the value of an item or collection? We can help you find out what it's all really worth and what your options are.

Stephen Ranger, Vice President Waddington's, is joining me this week in Vancouver to talk about selling, buying or appraising art - and much more.

We've been invited to talk with a few groups already, but we're reserving the evening of Thursday, October 19 specifically for individual appointments. And as experts in the broadest range of art and objets d'art, this is a great opportunity for you to find out about more about your Asian, Canadian, International or Inuit Art; Decorative Arts; Fine Jewellery or Fine Wine.

Date & Time: Thursday, October 19, 6:00 - 9:00 pm Location: Sutton Place Hotel, 845 Burrard Street, Vancouver

To make an appointment to discuss selling, buying or appraising your valued possessions with Stephen, please contact me: Jacqui Dixon, Director of Client Services, Western Canada or 1.778.837.4588.

Just a reminder that I'm Vancouver-based and available at any time to provide guidance - so don't hesitate to get in touch with me.

And for the rest of the world... our appraisal specialists are always happy to provide their expertise, no matter where you are. Find out more from our Appraisals Manager Ellie Muir at or call 416.504.9100 / toll-free 1.877.504.5700.



Posted: 10/13/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Jacqui Dixon

Bright, Bold and Exceptional Quality Prints Attracts Bidders

Ellsworth Kelly, Blue/Green (EK70-336) sold for $17,500

Our September 2017 Prints and Photography Online Auction Results

Responding to market trends for bright, bold and exceptional quality of minimalist prints, the highlight of our auction was Ellsworth Kelly’s Blue/Green (EK70-336) achieving a top five price for the artist’s prints this year. Selling for over three times the high estimate for $17,500, Blue/Green (EK70-336) caught the attention of many bidders. Reflecting the transition between Kelly’s postwar abstraction towards a minimalistic point of view, this work is a poignant and important time the artist’s career. Blue/Green is also a perfect example of the exactitude of the lithographic process, the crisp delineation between the ink and white spaces.

What Attracts Collectors to Prints?

Printmaking techniques are also important factors to consider when collecting and buyers were equally drawn to Kelly’s perfectionism. Another highlight from the auction was Josef Albers who’s I-S’K (from Homage to the Square) sold for $10,625. The instant recognisability of the artist’s style has grown in popularity by collectors. Not only precise, but the colours that each square dons, has strong links to the colour field movement, while also expressing minimalistic tendencies.

This print was a rarity on the market as the colour combination selected by Albers was unique, combining deep, rich colours contrasting with an apple green centre square, which was undeniably attractive to buyers.

There is clearly excitement around the Bauhaus movement and its artists within the art community from exhibitions to collecting taste, ranging from printmaking to architecture. This modern movement will be gaining strength and one to watch on the auction block for seasons to come.

What's Popular in Photography?

Black and white photography continues to dominate the market as buyers look to build their collection with notable, groundbreaking photographers of generations gone by.

Works by André Kertész performed exceptionally well with a perfect sell-through rate, totalling over $16,500. Not only in pristine condition, these works were particularly strong due to their direct provenance from Kertész himself, by way of a private collection near Toronto.

Why Buy Prints & Photography?

Prints and Photography are an affordable way to build your art collection, while also providing access to the very best artists. Waddington’s Prints and Photography department’s expertise draws top works by consignors globally, while also attracting bidders from around the world, remaining competitive with other international auction houses.

To find out more about our auctions and how to consign, please contact Holly Mazar-Fox,


Posted: 10/2/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Holly Mazar-Fox

Making Your Connection ...with Art

I watched the Emmys Sunday night. From start to finish. No fast forwarding. Stephen Colbert is reason enough to extract this level of commitment from me but I also experienced a revelation where I least expected it. From Donald Trump. Okay not THE Donald Trump but rather from Alec Baldwin, who won an Emmy for his SNL portrayal of the current president.

I’ll have to paraphrase slightly, but Baldwin’s acceptance speech resonated with me. He said when we are at the end of our life, we won’t remember a bill that was passed or a supreme court decision or an address made by the president. We remember a book, or a line from a favourite play, a painting, a scene from a movie or a song. Unlike Proust and his madeleine cookies, for me it is music, books, and pictures that provoke strong memories and deep emotion, so I agree with Mr. Trump...I mean Alec.

When I walked around our sale room today, I was reminded of this: How the art we choose to surround ourselves with enriches our lives throughout our lifetime. There are pictures hanging now that I will really miss when they leave Waddington’s for their new homes but I won’t soon forget them. I’ve made a connection. Art helps us connect with each other, too. With people from our own time and those that have gone before.

We want to encourage you to come down and make that connection, too, so we’ve extended our viewing hours for the Select Auction and will stay open for you to visit Tuesday, September 19 and Wednesday, September 20 until 7 p.m.




Posted: 9/19/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Linda Rodeck

Don't Miss the Opportunity to Consign

Josephie Pootoogook, Joyfully I see Ten Caribou, 1959, Estimate: $6,000-9,000

Waddington’s invites you to consign to our Fall 2017 auctions of Important Inuit Art.

Here are a few of the reasons you should consider consigning to Waddington's:

1. Our service excellence combined with four decades of experience in selling Inuit Art at auction culminates in superior results for our valued clients.

2. Marketing is a key element of our success. Our strategic marketing channels include direct mail, digital marketing, social media and personal contact to reach our own extensive network of clients - and to reach new audiences.

3. When it comes time to preview the auction, our downtown Toronto location provides the perfect gallery space for your artwork to be presented in museum-quality exhibitions prior to the auction.

Please note that we are interested in major collections as well as individual works for our upcoming auctions.

If you would like to find out more about the many benefits of working with Waddington’s, please contact us.

Christa Ouimet 416.847.6184


Highlights from our Upcoming Auctions


Josephie Pootoogook, Woman Scraping Skin, 1958 Estimate: $3,000-5,000
Johnny Inukpuk, Woman Cradling Infant, 36" Estimate: $30,000-40,000
Josephie Pootoogook, Joyfully I See Ten Caribou, 1959 Estimate: $6,000-8,000
Osuitok Ipeelee, Hawk, 16.5" Estimate: $22,000-26,000 

























Posted: 9/15/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Halcyon Days


2017 was the 100th anniversary of the tragic death of Tom Thomson.

This summer, I visited some of Thomson's favourite painting places and then paddled with my daughter to the cairn on Canoe Lake, a pilgrimage in honour of this exceptional Canadian. It was a poignant experience for me and a powerful reminder of the beauty of the Canadian landscape and the fleetingness of summer, which we can easily forget when we spend too much time behind a desk or tablet.

The one thing that keeps most of us sane during summer in the city is that great Canadian institution - the pilgrimage to cottage country beginning from the Victoria Day weekend and repeated religiously every weekend thereafter we can spare. The glory days of summer (despite a little rain here and there) begin to taper off now with the arrival of Labour Day Weekend. Our thoughts turn to the start of the school year, to TIFF, to gallery hops and galas and other city- centred events that fill the early months of autumn, muffling the cries of the loons and the splash of a paddle, putting distance between those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer as we sprint towards Christmas.

There will be no more time for trips north now but, luckily for us, hanging in the office of the Canadian Art Department, is Charles Comfort's exquisite rendering of Monument Channel, Georgian Bay extending that summer idyll for a few weeks longer until it, too, moves on to the home of whoever is wise enough to acquire it at our November 20th auction of Important Canadian Art.

In saying goodbye to summer 2017, Anna, Rochelle and I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a safe and enjoyable long weekend. We look forward to welcoming you back to our sales rooms on September 17 and 18th, when we will be previewing our Select Online Sale of Canadian Art.

Posted: 9/1/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Linda Rodeck

Recent & Upcoming Events in Canadian Art

What's Happening in Canadian Art at Waddington's

Waddington’s May 29th Spring Auction of Important Canadian Art was an exhilarating evening with the total hammer price for the sale widely exceeded Waddington’s pre-sale expectation for this select 112 lot event.

Our cover lot, an early topographical watercolour by William Armstrong, came within a hair’s breadth of setting a new world record for the artist. Our back cover lot, a mighty 1961 McEwen painting, doubled its pre-sale estimate, and dozens of other lots soared well above their pre-sale estimate, to our sellers’ great delight.

On June 27th, we will be conducting our Canada 150 Auction which includes exquisite and fascinating objects and works of art selected to tell the story of Canada’s history. The sale is a collaborative event supported by the Canadian Art, Decorative Arts, Inuit Art, International Art and Jewellery Departments here at Waddington’s.

Please be sure to look for highlights from the Canadian Art Department including a suite of 21 paintings by William Kurelek depicting Huronia in 17th Century Canada, as well as works by AY Jackson, Frederick Banting, Emily Carr, Jane-Ash Poitras and others.

Details about this special sesquicentennial event can be found here: The Canada 150 Auction


Posted: 6/15/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Linda Rodeck

Waddington’s Canada 150 Auction

The Canada 150 auction is a special Waddington's event celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary featuring art and objects of historical and cultural significance. Some may be whimsical, others more important, all drawn together to celebrate and tell the stories of 150 years of Canadian art and culture. Waddington's is proud to be Canada's oldest auction house, founded pre-Confederation. Our deep well of expertise crosses multiple collecting categories, showcasing our rich passion and capacity for scholarship and linking our heritage to Canada's. This specialized auction will share in the excitement of Canada’s sesquicentennial. Please contact Sean Quinn for further information: View the Auction Gallery










Posted: 6/3/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean

Inuit Art Spring 2017

We are pleased to present the following collections and individual works entrusted to us for this spring's auction of Inuit Art.

This lovely selection of artwork by artists from across Canada’s Arctic is highlighted by the prestigious private collection of a long-time auction attendee who found such treasures as Karoo Ashevak’s animated drum dancer at Waddington’s in 1983.

Another extraordinary work in this auction is Michael Massie’s mixed media work titled Creativity of the Spirit: Distant Relations which has gained the admiration of all of Waddington’s specialists and which I’m especially pleased to present to the auction market, along with three other fabulous works by Massie. From this same Ottawa collection we offer some stunning contemporary graphics by Itee Pootoogook, Germaine Arnaktauyok and Kenojuak Ashevak.

A particular wonder of this auction is a collection of fabrics printed with incredible designs in Cape Dorset in the 1960’s. The largest collection of fabric art to come to market and a rarity to even see - this collection is a piece of the history of innovation in the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative.

Pauta Saila, the master of the dancing polar bear, is well represented in the following pages, each carving of his was carefully selected and are prime examples of different creative phases in his career.

Finally, we are pleased to bring attention to another collection which has come all the way to us from Wales and was composed by a couple who lived and worked in the North in those early days and felt akin to the people they met there. We’ve included their story on page 56 of the catalogue.

Thank you to all of our consigners this season, it is truly a pleasure to hear your stories and be trusted to present your collections. A sincere thank you to all the collectors who continue to demonstrate their love of Inuit art, season after season.

View the PDF Catalogue

Christa Ouimet Inuit Art Specialist

Posted: 4/29/2017 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Inuit and First Nations Art Auction Fall 2016

Waddington’s fall auction season was highlighted by an important auction of Inuit and First Nations Art on November 22, 2016 in Toronto. Celebrating 38 years in the Inuit Art market, Waddington’s presented 200+ works by some of the most important artists in Canada.

Christa Ouimet, head of Waddington’s Inuit and First Nations Art department, was diligent during the consignment process to ensure that the vast majority of art in the auction would be fresh to the market. The carefully curated auction included major pieces from several important private collections; with many works on offer on the secondary market for the first time. Ouimet cites the rare, large scale, double-sided work in bone by iconic Canadian artist Karoo Ashevak as an example; the consensus is: for such a large and striking piece by this distinctive artist to have been unknown to the market until this time is extraordinary. Spirits Faces - Tooth Pull was a major highlight result of the auction setting a new record for the artist of $132,000.

Other examples of previously little-known works include an exquisite, early stone sculpture of a group of midwives by Ennutsiak, sculptures by Charlie Ugyuk including excellent examples of his top three subjects: an intricate demon; a highly realistic fishing scene; and his famous falcon. Superb pieces by Judas Ullulaq in both stone and antler were also featured in the auction, along with a selection of fascinating early Cape Dorset works including several small-scale gems for the Small Wonders section of the auction. Ouimet adds of special note was a large number of carvings that comprised the 1986/87 Art Gallery of Windsor exhibition: Sugluk, Sculpture in Stone 1953-1959.

An additional highlight of the auction was a magnificent 7’ work on cloth, Dropping Atom Bombs, by Métis artist Bob Boyer, which sold for $8,400.

Duncan McLean, President of Waddington’s, and leading Inuit Art expert says, “Waddington’s has played a vital role in establishing new markets for Inuit Art since our first auction in 1978. We are passionate about the art form and the culture of the Inuit and First Nations people and are delighted to present this unique art to an increasingly expanding market of discerning collectors."

Referring to the auction preview McLean added, "Can you imagine a better way to introduce a visitor to the culture of Canada than inviting them to explore the diversity of Canadian art? Side by side, complementing each other, Canadian historical, Contemporary, Inuit and First Nations, Group of Seven, pre-historic, etc.; our auction preview provides a rare opportunity to appreciate the depth and breadth of Canada’s art and culture."

Auction Highlights

Lot 80 - Karoo Ashevak, Spence Bay / Taloyak
A monumental work in dense whalebone carved to both sides with dramatic shaman or spirit faces, highlighted by antler, stone and bone inlaid eyes and inset bone teeth. The tattooed face grins widely with a prominent third eye and the opposing face with crossed eyes, mouth agape and a removable tooth attached by sinew, signed in syllabics.
Estimate: $35,000—45,000
Price Realized: $132,000

Lot 196 - Bob Boyer
Mixed media on blanket, signed, titled (faded) and dated Spring ‘88 on the reverse.
A Métis artist with a cultural background influenced by the Assiniboine and Sioux, Boyer’s works, broadly, speak to notions of a dual cultural perspective of his Native heritage and Western traditions of Abstract and Contemporary art. Though he worked in a variety of media throughout his career, Boyer is perhaps best known for his series of blanket paintings completed between 1983 and 1995. Boyer elected to use a blanket as his substrate rather than a traditional canvas to address the political issues of First Nations people.
Estimate: $4,000—5,000
Price Realized: $8,400

View the Auction Gallery

Posted: 11/18/2016 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean

Fall 2016 Inuit Art Auction - Catalogue Available Online

This November 22nd, Waddington’s will hold our bi-annual live auction of Inuit Art including First Nations artwork.

On view at our 275 King Street Toronto location November 18 - 21, the auction encompasses 200 works of sculpture and graphics, including six major collections, among the most notable, the never-seen-before collection of published poet and scholar Dr. Francis Sparshott; as well as the collection of Peter J. Landry which was exhibited at the Art Gallery of Windsor and whose exhibition catalogue is the primary resource on the art of Sugluk / Salluit.

The auction is also comprised of individual works entrusted to Waddington's by important artists such as our feature sculpture by Karoo Ashevak which graces the fold-out cover of the catalogue.

View the Auction Gallery

View the PDF Catalogue

View the Catalogue Essays PDF

Catalogue Orders:
Lynda Macpherson

For more information:
Christa Ouimet

Posted: 10/27/2016 9:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Highlights of our Fall 2016 Inuit Art Auctions

Please enjoy this selection of highlights from our upcoming Fall 2016 live auction of Inuit Art which includes major sculptural works by Ennutsiak, Karoo Ashevak and Niviaxie as well as an impressive collection of Salluit and Cape Dorset sculpture from the early 1950’s.

Please also note our upcoming online auction of Inuit Art November 17 - 24.

For more information contact Christa Ouimet at

NIVIAXIE (1909-1959), E7-1077, CAPE DORSET RECLINED POLAR BEAR CUB EATING SEAL stone, c. 1957 3.25" x 5" x 8" — 8.3 x 12.7 x 20.3 cm. Provenance: The Peter J. Landry Collection of Inuit Art, U.S.A.
Estimate: $700—1,000
JUDAS ULLULAQ (1937-1999), E4-342, GJOA HAVEN/UQSUQTUUQ HAPPY FISHERMAN stone, bone, sinew, antler, musk ox horn, c. 1987, signed in syllabics 16.5" x 12" x 7" — 41.9 x 30.5 x 17.8 cm. Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist by the consigner in 1987.
Estimate: $7,000—10,000
MATUSI UNGNAITOOK (1905-1961), SUGLUK / SALLUIT MAN AND BEAR stone, c. 1956 9" x 8" x 4" — 22.9 x 20.3 x 10.2 cm. Exhibited: Sugluk: Sculpture in Stone, 1953-1959, exh. cat., Art Gallery of Windsor, (Windsor, ON), 1992, illustrated p. 37 and on the catalogue cover, cat. no. 8 This work is accompanied by the Art Gallery of Windsor hand written exhibition label.
Estimate: $2,500—3,500

KAROO ASHEVAK (1940-1974), E4-196, SPENCE BAY / TALOYOAK SPIRITS whalebone, signed in syllabics 14" x 19" x 6" — 35.6 x 48.3 x 15.2 cm. Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist by a gallery owner, Yellowknife, By descent to present owner, British Columbia
Estimate: $35,000—45,000
ENNUTSIAK (1896-1967), E7-603, IQALUIT MIDWIVES WITH BABY stone, c. 1958 4.5" x 7.75" x 6" — 11.4 x 19.7 x 15.2 cm. Provenance: The Hon. W. Dan Chilcott, Q.C. Collection, Ottawa
Estimate: $8,000—12,000
UNIDENTIFIED, CAPE DORSET / KINNGAIT YOUNG WOMAN HOLDING A CHILD stone, c. 1955 5.25" x 2.5" x 3.5" — 13.3 x 6.4 x 8.9 cm. Provenance: The Peter J. Landry Collection of Inuit Art, U.S.A. Note: This is an exquisite work that could have been carved by any of the masters of the Qikiqtaalik region.
Estimate: $600—900
Posted: 8/30/2016 9:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Leading Off Our Spring 2016 Auction Season:
The Art of Canada

Est. $70,000–90,000

Est. $10,000–15,000
What better way to launch our Spring 2016 auction season than with our inaugural Art of Canada Auction on May 30. Leading off our series of seven auctions representing art and collectibles from around the world, it seems fitting to start at home. And what a rich foundation we have to draw from. The Art of Canada skillfully presents the diversity of artistic production by some of the country's best artists. A sweeping representation of artists and themes, the collection visits Kurelek’s prairies, Frank Hans Johnston’s Algoma Waterfalls, Banff Alberta from the perspective of Takao Tanabe, life in the Arctic as depicted in Josephie Pootoogook’s Joyfully I See Ten Caribou, and simple family pleasures in Ennutsiak’s sculpture of mealtime. Definitively Canadian, the collection includes works from the Group of Seven, Painters Eleven, contemporary Canadian artists, and the remarkable creative expression of leading Inuit and First Nations artists.

You’ll have noticed that we’ve been bringing all forms of Canadian art closer together in recent years in the belief that our clients are as passionate as we are about the art created within our borders. Waddington’s role in the ‘Canadian’ art market stretches back several remarkable decades – back to 1978 for our first auction of Inuit art, and further back to 1967 to our first auction dedicated to Canadian fine art. We have loved watching the work of so many Canadian artists gain popularity and respect here at home and around the world.

Other highlights of our May 30 Art of Canada Auction include Joyce Wieland’s Dancers, a celebration of lightness, boundless freedom and ultimately ecstasy (Lot 18); Jean Albert McEwen’s powerful Blason du Chevalier Rouge (Lot 29); Haida Gwaii artist Rufus Moody’s exquisite Lidded Box in argelite and abalone shell (Lot 35); Bison Foraging in Winter by Frederick Arthur Verner, (Lot 39); and Cape Dorset artist Kiawak Ashoona’s stone sculpture Bird Spirit (Lot 51).

Talking about art around the world, the second auction of the season is our Asian Art Auction on June 13. Featuring over 350 lots, the auction includes exceptional artifacts from jade to textiles; rare, museum-grade Japanese prints; several important pieces from the collection of Robert Stephenson including a massive Thai, Chien Seng or Sukhothai style bronze figure of Buddha Sakyamuni, 15/16th century (Lot 54); and select scrolls from an American collection. Of additional interest is a rare, large Imari ‘Dragon and Phoenic' Charger, Meiki Period late 19th century (Lot 42); and a rare pair of Cloisonné Zebras, Late Qing Dynasty, estimated at $20,000—30,000 (Lot 74).

Est. $20,000—30,000
Est. $10,000—14,000

Jewellery takes centre stage on June 14 with 120 lots of beautiful works from 18th century Flemish, 19th century Etruscan and contemporary rings, necklaces, watches and much more. Shining brightly are lots 43 – a beautiful Cartier Pasha Day/Date Wristwatch, with moonphase display and second time zone; circa 2000 in an 18k yellow gold case with display back and sapphire crown covers; with an 18k yellow gold strap and deployant buckle, estimated at $10,000—14,000; Lot 45 – a 18K white gold cocktail ring set with a fine, large oval cut tanzanite (approx. 24.0ct.) encircled by 102 brilliant cut diamonds (approx. 3.20ct.t.w.), estimated at $12,000—16,000; and Lot 97 – a stunning platinum ring set with a marquis cut diamond (approx. 7.70ct.) flanked by two trilliant cut diamonds (approx. 0.65ct. each), estimated at $60,000—80,000.

Our International Art Auction combined with Decorative Arts follows on June 20. The International Art portion includes three important oil paintings by American painter and illustrator Philip Russell Goodwin (1882-1935) who specialized in depictions of wildlife, the outdoors, fishing, hunting and the Old American West, never before on the market; a watercolour by British artist Sir William Russell Flint, Court of the Listening Busts, Richelieu, and a majestic ship portrait by renowned British Maritime artist, Montague Dawson. In the Decorative Arts section of the June 20 auction, we are pleased to offer a Barr, Flight & Barr Worcester Japan Pattern Service, c.1807-13; a set of four George II Silver Table Candlesticks, John Cafe, London, 1756; and a Glass Bird Sculpture ‘Pulcino’ by Alessandro Pianon, c.1960.

Est. $100,000—150,000
Est. $2,500—3,500

Est. $20,000—30,000

More Decorative Arts highlights include a French Carved Ivory Renaissance Style Figural Chess Set, 19th century, modelled as Europe vs. the Ottoman Empire with kings, queens, bishops and knights on rearing steeds, rooks as foot soldiers with pole arms on turrets and pawns as foot soldiers, with halberds or bow and quivers; a pair of Maps of Canada, Jacques Nicolas Bellin, 1755 ‘Partie Occidentale de la Nouvelle France ou du Canada and Partie Orientale de la Nouvelle France ou du Canada, considered to be among the most important early maps of Canada; and finally, a Canadian Regency Rosewood Bracket Clock, George Savage, c.1830.

Spring may have come late this year but we’ll be making up for that with a profusion of amazing auctions for your enjoyment. Find out more about our 2016 Spring Auction Season

Posted: 5/26/2016 9:00:00 AM
By: Duncan McLean

The Art of Canada Auction

Waddington’s is pleased to present our inaugural Art of Canada Auction. This important event combines the finest historical, modern and contemporary Canadian art with top works from Inuit and Northwest Coast artists.

From our Indigenous offering we are particularly excited to share with you eleven prints from the 1959 Cape Dorset Print Collection, including Tudlik’s Division of Meat and Josephie Pootoogook’s Joyfully I See Ten Caribou. Headlining our Northwest Coast offering this season is a stunning carved argillite box with inlaid abalone shell by Rufus Moody. The Art of Canada Auction also features classic period works from various Arctic Quebec settlements such as a miniature version of Joe Talirunili’s famous Migration sculpture.

The online session of our spring auction features our popular offering of Small Wonders, often imitated but never duplicated, they are a select group of miniature works that we sprinkled throughout the session for your viewing pleasure. We have fine sculpture by esteemed artists George Tataniq, Barnabus Arnasungaaq and Kaka Ashoona and early prints from the likes of Parr, Sakiassie and Kenojuak. Also on offer during this session is an exquisite collection of woven Salish baskets along with a rare sketchbook of drawings by Mary Ayaq.

We look forward to seeing you during one or more of the viewing times below.

Friday 27 May 2016
12 Noon to 5 pm

Saturday 28 May 2016
11 am to 5 pm

Sunday 29 May 2016
11 am to 5 pm

Monday 30 May 2016
10 am to 12 Noon

Auction Gallery



Posted: 5/13/2016 10:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Invitation to Consign

Waddington's is currently accepting consignments for our forthcoming live auction of Important Inuit Art to be held in May 2016. We are also accepting consignments for our popular online Inuit Art auctions. MEET WITH A SPECIALIST Our specialists are travelling this season in search of consignments. Contact us to find out if we'll be in your area. OBTAIN AN ESTIMATE Our specialists routinely view images and provide advice on saleability and value. Connect with us via email to find out more about your artwork. Waddington's has been the site of market milestones for almost 40 years. Our consigners have the advantage of offering their collections to Waddington’s cultivated network of buyers. When you choose to work with us, you gain the benefit of both domestic and international exposure through our reputation as the leading authority on the Inuit Art market. With a combination of personalized service and creative marketing, we do our utmost to ensure the maximum value for your collection. We invite you to work with us on the successful sale of your collection. To book a consultation, please contact: Christa Ouimet Inuit Art Specialist 416.847.6184 View our 2015 auction results Past Inuit Art auction highlights

Posted: 3/18/2016 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Waddington’s Achieves Highest Price for Inuit Art at Auction in 2015.

This special little work in stone achieved top price for a work of Inuit Art at auction in 2015. Adding much interest to the lot was Talirunili`s illustrated story of the event his carving depicted. The final price with premium for lot 114 is $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. Unlike most Canadian artists, Joe also enjoys a great deal of international interest.

Other highlights of the November auction include a major work in bone by Karoo Ashevak. The almost 20” drum dancer sold for $50,400, the second highest price for a work by the artist; the record price of $78,200 for a work by Karoo was also achieved by Waddington’s in 2004.

Waddington’s also set a record for Osuitok Ipeelee’s important 1959 stencil print, Eskimo Legend: Owl, Fox and Hare. The print was enthusiastically welcomed back to the market setting a record price of $28,800; it had been over a decade since last available to collectors. Recognized as one of Canada’s most important sculptors, Osuitok contributed only two prints to the annual Cape Dorset print collection and only in its inaugural year of 1959, making the print a rare and highly sought-after piece.

Waddington’s Fall 2015 auction of Important Inuit and First Nations Art included almost 300 works of sculpture, prints, textiles and paintings by the leading artists in the field.

Waddington’s holds biannual live auctions and monthly online auctions of Inuit Art and First Nations Art. The next opportunity to acquire a work of Inuit Art will be from Waddington’s online auction January 25 – 28, 2016.

Always a show stopper, Karoo Ashevak does it again with this superb Inuit drum dancer in whalebone. It fetched $50,400 at Monday evening’s auction.

One of Canada’s most talented sculptors, Osuitok Ipeelee, contributed two images to the 1959 Cape Dorset Collection. This stunning stencil of Osuitok's did not appear on the open market for more than a decade. It fetched $28,800 during Waddington’s live Inuit art auction on Monday.

This Robert Davidson bronze sculpture mounted on a stone base is said to be a portrait of the artist’s brother, Reg Davidson. Highlighting our selection of Northwest Coast art, it was met with much interest during the preview and was auctioned off at $11,400.

View from the front of the auction room, some of the artwork that was sold on November 16th, 2015.
Posted: 11/20/2015 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Inuit Art Auction including First Nations Art - Catalogue Available

Waddington’s is pleased to present this extraordinary selection of Inuit art for our fall season.

We are fortunate to be handling the Jonny Kalisch and James Bisback Collection of Inuit art which comprises a large portion of the wonderful carvings from the Kivalliq region in this sale. It also includes exceptional works by major artists Andy Miki, John Pangnark and Lucy Tasseor Tutsweetok.

Another special collection that came to us from the United States includes the phenomenal Osuitok Ipeelee Owl whose feathers are incised to perfection and beak hollowed out and darkened to create a life-like effect. In this very same collection, we are privileged to have received the Joe Talirunili Boat that depicts another real-life aquatic escape for Joe and his son. We are equally excited to present it along with Joe's own handwritten and illustrated recollection of the event.

Also worthy of your attention is our outstanding collection of Pangnirtung weavings. Sometimes over-looked when offered through auction, these are true artistic achievements, with striking and complicated images that testify to the amount of effort and creativity involved in making them.

A collector that fascinated us once before is with us again. Arden Barnes, whose stories of her summers spent living in Joe Talirunili’s shed, sadly passed away last year. We are offering a number of carvings by Joe that Arden acquired from him directly, as well as a special work by Davidialuk Alasua Amittu.

Once again, we have a strong group of Small Wonders. It is a portion of our auction close to our hearts and has been since we began promoting small-scale carvings over a decade ago. The pieces that call out for recognition in this section include: the bust of a woman with perfectly plaited hair playing the accordion (lot 53); the tiny version of Kananginak's musk ox (lot 44); and a five inch Pauta Saila bear acquired by the consignor in 1979 from Pauta himself (lot 42).

I cannot conclude this introduction without mentioning the superb collection of graphics, thanks in part to a prominent Toronto collector with an impeccable eye for quality. Each print and drawing excites me more than the next, which makes it difficult to single out only a handful. From important drawings to early prints and images that don’t often become available, peruse the pages of our catalogue to enjoy them as much as we have.

As always, we look forward to having you at our preview and auction this November.

View the Auction Gallery

View the Catalogue PDF

Posted: 10/22/2015 9:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Major Sale of Inuit Art

Waddington’s Inuit art Department is having a major sale of Inuit art this November 16th. We are so excited to present the many important works that have been entrusted to us already. If you would like to be a part of this auction, there is still plenty of time to consign your artwork to us. Works that are in great demand by our collectors include the following:

· Important carvings in stone by Pauta Saila, John Kavik, George Tataniq, Miriam Qiyuk, Francis Kaluraq and Tudlik.
· Bone and stone sculptures by Karoo Ashevak, Charlie Ugyuk and Nelson Takkiruq.
· Works on cloth and drawings by Jessie Oonark.
· Prints from 1959/1960 as well as from the experimental period.
· Early and interesting sculptures from the classic period.

Our consignment deadline is September 18th.

Contact Christa Ouimet at or 416-847-6184. We look forward to providing you with advice and guidance in handling your collection.

Artists included this season’s sale are Ennutsiak, Joe Talirunili, John Tiktak, Parr, Henry Evaluardjuk, Barnabus Arnasungaaq, Kenojuak Ashevak, Mathew Aqigaaq, Lukta Qiatsuq, Davidialuk Alasua Amittu, Elizabeth Nutaraluk, Niviaxie (Niviaksiak), Luke Anguhudluq and so many more.

Posted: 9/10/2015 9:30:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Spring Inuit Art Auction Monday June 1

In our 37th year of presenting Inuit Art auctions, we are particularly pleased with this spring’s offering of exceptional art. It’s an auction of extremes, variety and quality. A comprehensive representation of works from across all regions of the Canadian Arctic, spanning all periods, from what we have termed the ‘classic period’ of the 1950s to mid-1960s, to the contemporary.

View the Preview Gallery
Posted: 4/29/2015 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Entrust Waddington’s with your Artwork

Our highly successful Fall 2014 Inuit Art Auction realized phenomenal results for works by Davidialuk Alasua Amittu, John Kavik, Parr, Karoo Ashevak, Kenojuak Ashevak and Pauta Saila. Following their success, we are seeking works by these artists and other examples of fine Inuit Art for our Spring 2015 auction.

We are particularly interested in works such as textiles and drawings by Jessie Oonark, early graphics from Cape Dorset and Baker Lake, sculptures by Akeeaktashuk, Ennutsiak, Kananginak, Francis Kaluraq, Osuitok Ipeelie, Miriam Qiyuk, Sheokjuk Oqutaq, Davie Atchealuk, Charlie Ugyuk, Judas Ullulaq, Joe Talirunili, George Tataniq, Andy Miki, Henry Evaluardjuk, Josiah Nuilalik, Mathew Aqigaaq and Tudlik. And, as proven in our past auctions, works from the classic period are always highly sought after and do not necessarily have to be attributed to an artist.

If you are unsure what you have, simply send us digital images with dimensions and we’ll be pleased to provide guidance.  

We are equipped to handle all aspects of your Inuit art collection - our auctions run the gamut from attainably priced works to the top end of the market.  

We are also pleased to announce that we are planning a First Nations auction this year in addition to our biannual live Inuit art auctions and online Inuit art auctions.

Auction and Consignment Dates:

Spring Auction of Important Inuit Art - June 1st, 2015
Deadline - Early April - Consignments accepted ASAP

Auction of Important First Nations Art - Fall 2015
Christa Ouimet,
Inuit Art Specialist
Posted: 3/3/2015 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

As one auction season ends, another is soon underway…

Upcoming Auction Highlights
2014 was extremely busy at Waddington’s with 21 live auctions, 43 online auctions, several selling exhibitions and numerous fundraising events. Across our various departments we brought together 4,219 successful bidders with over 12,000 lots consigned by 3,039 vendors. And our Canadian art department set 12 new artist’s auction records this year!

Our success in 2014 was in great part due to our diversity of knowledge and experience, and our broad market networks. Waddington’s is well equipped to handle your items not only through our traditional departments, but anything you can challenge us with no matter how unique.

For me, the stand-out items are not always the most valuable ones. In 2014, what I found the most intriguing was The Billy Jamieson Collection of everything macabre, magical and outrageous – including a wooden New Guinea cannibal fork, a 19th c human tooth necklace, a pair of Houdini’s handcuffs and a commemorative slice of Jumbo the Elephant’s tusk originally presented to Mrs. P.T. Barnum.

Other 2014 auction highlights were a 16th c gilt bronze Buddha, a stone sculpture by Inuit artist Davidialuk depicting the story of Katyutayuuq, a rare set of 12 Imperial Russian dinner plates, a 19th c Napoleonic chess set depicting the Battle of Algiers, Sir Isaac Brock's Knighthood Commission document, an Elizabethan (1580) silver-mounted Tigerware jug, an Andy Warhol portrait of Karen Kain, and an important J.E.H MacDonald oil sketch for a major AGO collection canvas.  Now how’s that for diversity!

Spring 2015 will see Waddington’s offer yet another unique collection to complement our traditional department offerings: 250 pieces from the ‘FXSMITH Studio Collection’ including movie costumes and props from films like The X Men series and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. 

We invite you to be part of our Spring 2015 season and to consider a consignment opportunity with us. Whether live, online or through private sale, we can provide the best forum to buy or sell.

Winter 2015 Newsletter (PDF)

Spring 2015 Auction and Consignment Schedule (PDF)

— Duncan McLean

Posted: 1/26/2015 12:00:00 AM
By: Duncan McLean


(1949 – 2015)

Toller Cranston lived in a grand Victorian home on Pembroke Street in downtown Toronto in the 1980s. Waddington’s was on Queen Street East at that time – on the other side of Moss Park, a short walk away. Toller was a regular at all our auctions, which in those days included twice-weekly estate auctions offering anything and everything to be found in a home. Toller was always on the hunt for the wild, the colourful, the outrageous, the beautiful and anything over the top. His favourite expression when he saw something he had to have was: “It’s beyond the beyond!” Pieces Toller had to have included an Italian Murano green glass indoor fountain that was destined for his bay window (where it actually worked once installed); a huge black metal sculpture of a flying raven; as well as every antique, carved wood cherub he could find.

One evening, I was hanging out with Toller and Bill Kime, another friend from Waddington’s, at his home. In our conversation Toller declared that it was time for him to start selling a few pieces to help spark a change in his life. This was during a difficult period for Toller, in the twilight of his skating career, and feeling unappreciated by the art world. (I remember a large canvas he had recently painted of classically Victorian dressed skaters on a frozen outdoor pond. On a hill next to the pond, a sinister-looking tree with another skater hanging by the neck from a branch over the frozen pond. That was Toller – dramatic and dark-humoured.)

Bill suggested that the best way to sell his pieces was not a few at a time, but all at once as a big event that would generate excitement; create a buzz in Toller’s world of art and entertainment. Toller loved the theatre of big events – and he was immediately excited by the prospect. In June 1991, after many days of working closely with Toller to catalogue the collection and produce a catalogue, Waddington’s offered the contents of his three-story house over a three-session auction. Invitations to the preview party were highly sought. Fans, collectors, voyeurs and media spilled out our front doors the evening of the first auction. And as predicted, the sale of his home and its contents allowed him to “reinvent himself”. Toller bought a magnificent estate in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico’s artist colony, where many ex-pat Canadians including Leonard Brooks and Toller’s good friend Gary Slipper were already settled. A new chapter of his life.

The reality is, Toller had already reinvented himself several times – from virtuoso world-champion skater, to caustic commentator to devoted coach – Toller had pushed the limits of a restrictive sport at every leap and turn. As a painter, Toller’s work was like his artistry on ice. Graceful, sensual, provocative, at times dark, or exploding with colour and energy. Defying tradition and eschewing conformity.

Toller lived large. He craved attention and appreciation, but he also spoke the truth as he saw it – which often landed him on the wrong side of the establishment. He had a wicked sense of humour and could slay his critics with a mere word or two. Toller was brilliant. He should be honoured as one of Canada’s most remarkable creative forces for changing the Canadian landscape in so many ways. Toller was a friend. He was generous, he was fun, he was both a social animal and a solitary man, a mercurial temperament who would disappear for months and then return with bravado.

Toller will be missed. By me, by those who had the chance to enter his magical life, and everyone else who will be touched by his creative legacy.

Duncan McLean

This photograph of Toller’s main floor living room was taken by Joy von Tiedemann and used as the auction catalogue cover. It’s a wonderfully mad room that is all Toller.

These images of Toller and his home were simply taken down off his wall to be used in the auction catalogue.

These images are of the auction preview displaying Toller’s immense and diverse collection. Waddington’s gallery had never looked so vibrant, so colourful or so fantastic!

Posted: 1/26/2015 12:00:00 AM
By: Duncan McLean

Waddington's Inuit Art Auction Results

JOHN KAVIK (1897-1993), Rankin Inlet
Price Realised: $19,200
A record for Povungnituk artist Davidialuk Alasua Amittu was one of several highlights of Waddington's Inuit Art Auction held in Toronto November 17. "Sleeping Platform", an impressive sculpture in dark stone, reached $45,600 beating a previous record for a work by the artist, also set by Waddington's in 2013. An exquisite bone sculpture by Karoo Ashevak of a bird defending its nest of eggs was also hugely popular, fetching $36,000, and a stonecut print by consummate favourite Kenojuak Ashevak brought $20,400.

The three top lots were clearly representative of the best of the diversity of Inuit art. Works by the great storyteller Davidialuk, while always an intriguing depiction of an Inuit myth, legend, story or custom – is rarely described as beautiful. In contrast, Karoo's work is prized for its whimsy, beautiful execution and creative brilliance. Kenojuak's "Bird Humans", a striking crimson blend of Inuit people and birds, is emblematic of the late, iconic artist's sense of design and use of colour.

Waddington's Inuit Art Specialist Christa Ouimet also noted that the prices obtained for original drawings in the auction indicated a growth in their popularity; three drawings by Parr sold for a total of $27,000. An extraordinary artist who began his art career at the age of 68, Parr's drawings are considered to be a record of the traditional hunting and nomadic lifestyle of the Inuit for future generations.

Note: prices quoted are in Canadian dollars and are comprised of hammer price and buyers' commission.

To consign to our Spring Inuit Art Auction
please contact:
Christa Ouimet 416.847.6184

View Highlights from this Auction

Posted: 11/20/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Special Event Celebrating Inuit Art & Arctic Life November 16

Sunday 16 November 2014, 3 p.m.

Waddington’s and Adventure Canada invite you to a celebration of Inuit Art and Arctic Life.

In our tradition of exploring the heart and soul of Inuit art and culture, we are pleased to present an insightful presentation from Dr. Anna Hudson: "Where does Inuit Tradition Live Today?” Former Associate Curator of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Dr. Hudson is currently leading a major Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Partnership Grant project titled “Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage: a multi-media/multi-platform re-engagement of voice in visual art and performance”.

"Where does Inuit Tradition Live Today?” - 3:00 p.m.
Dr. Anna Hudson, Associate Professor, Department of Visual Art & Art History, Faculty of Fine Arts, York University.

Special guests Heidi Langille and Lynda Brown of the Ottawa Inuit Children’s Centre will lend their voices to the discussion through the shared joy of throat singing.

Special feature: Discover the spirit and beauty of the Arctic in person. Bid via silent auction on Adventure Canada’s extraordinary journey to the ‘Heart of the Arctic’.

When: Inuit Art Auction - November 16, 2014, 3 p.m.

Where: Waddington's, 275 King St East, Second Floor, Toronto, ON, M5A 1K2

Kate Godin
Posted: 11/3/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Inuit Art Auction
Catalogue Available

Much like some Inuit artists release an image from a piece of stone or other material, assembling an auction comes together organically. Even with all the planning and campaigning we do leading up to our auction, it can still remain a mystery up to the consignment deadline as to what the final product will end up being. We are very happy to reveal the collection of works that comprise our fall auction of Important Inuit Art.

This season we are thrilled to offer works by favoured artists such as Osuitok Ipeelee and Karoo Ashevak, as well as sculptures from artists who have remained anonymous but are certainly no less admired. Our graphics selection is representative of the unique vision each artist expresses in their work. We're thrilled once again to offer you three powerful little prints from the Kinngait experimental collection released in 1958. You will find several of Kenojuak Ashevak's marvelous images from the early 1960's and many other striking works on paper from Kinngait and Qamani'tuaq.

From the masterful large scale work by Davidialuk to the charming little Jessie Oonark textile, we are thrilled with how the auction has taken shape and confident there is something for every collector within the pages of this catalogue.

We welcome you to join us this fall in celebrating Inuit art.

View the Inuit Art Auction Gallery

View the Catalogue (PDF)

— Christa Ouimet
Specialist, Inuit Art
Posted: 10/20/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Online auction features elegant Ovilu Tunnillie work

The late Ovilu Tunnillie was an accomplished artist from the community of Kinngait (Cape Dorset). Born in 1949 to artists, Sheojuk and Toonoo, she spent time in the south at a young age for tuberculosis treatment, an experience which had a strong impact on her. Her subjects range from the traditional to the contemporary with a focus on portraying women's stories. Many of her works were autobiographical and conveyed great emotion. Her sculpture displays a remarkable sensuality and modernity in form. Ovilu took pride in the fact that she could carve stone which was a skill mostly dominated by men. She was also one of the few Inuit sculptors to explore the female nude. Her work has been widely exhibited throughout Canada and is collected internationally.

"Ovilu Tunnillie uses her art to represent myths, tales and customs from her culture, such as the stories about the shaman and the sea goddess." An Ovilu sedna or taleelayu can be described as "… a marvel of voluptuousness thanks to its powerful volumes and the sensual charm of the sculpted curves."

- Inuit Women Artists, Odette Leroux, Marion E. Jackson, Minnie Aodla Freeman, The Canadian Museum of Civilization, 1994

"I was nine when I returned from hospital in the south and I saw my dad carving. I really liked rocks and stones and I thought, gee, rock can be made into art! …It was hard at first, but now I enjoy it. Other women inspired me - I saw we could do this too. When I started, women were not seen as being as important as men, but now women get a lot of recognition."

- Ovilu Tunnillie, Northern Rock, Contemporary Inuit Stone Sculpture, Susan Gustavison, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 1999

Bid online:

Posted: 10/15/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Appraisal Day at the MIA

The event "Identifying Inuit art" on Friday Sept. 26 at the MIA was another great success. Thanks to everyone who came out and participated. If you couldn't make it this year this is what you missed:

-An opportunity to view the current exhibitions at the Museum of Inuit Art.

-A chance to meet with representatives from several aspects of the Inuit art industry: a curator, a gallery director, an auction specialist and a wholesale manager, all at the same table together!

-Art experts examining and discussing YOUR treasures, providing opinions on historical significance, dating of when the work was executed, providing artist attributions and access to artist databases, assisting with repairs, identifying the purpose of artifacts, reading syllabics inscribed in sculpture, identifying the geographical region or settlement of origin for your artwork.

-Verbal appraisals reflecting the three different Inuit art markets, plus the advice of an art curator about the benefits of donation.

We had a great time together discussing our shared passion for Inuit art and I can speak for myself when I say it is very rewarding working with all three of the panelists even if for only one day a year. Blandina's in-depth knowledge of the art and culture of the Inuit across Canada was a huge benefit to the panel this year. RJ's determination and willingness to go the extra mile for the collector was hugely evident again this year and I know for a fact he's already followed up on a couple of mysteries from that day. It was evident to me that the MIA has a fan base in large part due to curator Alysa's warm and welcoming nature. She recognizes that the smallest detail in a work can be indicative of important pieces to the puzzle when identifying Inuit art, which made her expertise essential to the panel. I was happy to be in the company of these fine specialists and look forward to doing it again next time.
Posted: 10/10/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Exciting things to come

September has begun and with that, everyone is gearing up for the fall auction season. We're at the height of our consignment period right now with less than a month to our deadline. If you've been waiting for the weather to cool down and the kids and grandkids to go back to school then it's time to hurry up and send your images with details, book your appointment or start getting your shipments underway. With all the exciting things we have in store for our loyal clients, you will definitely want to be a part of our fall Inuit Art auction.

A couple of extra reasons to put November 15, 16 & 17 in your calendar: Waddington's is partnering with Adventure Canada for an exclusive chance to bid on one of their amazing expeditions. We also welcome you to join us for a special presentation, refreshments and an early look at a selection of fine Canadian paintings on the Sunday preceding the auction. To learn more about Adventure Canada visit their website

Another date to add to your schedule is Friday, September 26. That’s when I will be joining fellow Inuit art experts Alysa Procida, RJ Ramrattan and Blandina Makkik for the Museum of Inuit Art's second annual "Identifying Inuit Art" event. For more information on this event and others at the Museum of Inuit art visit their website

Stay tuned for our next online Inuit art auction opening September 15 and closing September 18. As usual you’re invited to preview the works at Waddington’s, 275 King St. East from 2 to 7 pm on September 16. I've chosen some very collectible pieces for you, which will give you a chance to practice your bidding skills for our live November auction.

Looking forward to seeing you at one – or all of the events above!
Posted: 9/2/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Great Canadian Art

Aqjangajuk Shaa with Lawren Harris (sold for $1.1 million)

Waddington’s role in the Inuit art market stretches back several remarkable decades. In fact, it’s hard to imagine that we celebrated our 36th year of Inuit art auctions this past June. Our presence in what is termed the 'Canadian art' market is only slightly longer — we offered our first auction dedicated to fine Canadian art in 1967.   We’ve done extremely well in both areas over these past years. That can be attributed to a simple formula of pairing the best professionals our industry has to offer (which in turn attracts the best works) with our unrelenting conviction that there is always room to improve and evolve. And our legacy in the industry means we’re fortunate to have the depth of experience to recognize changing trends and build new strategies as they’re needed.  

Bringing all forms of Canadian art closer together – including Inuit and contemporary – is one such strategy. This past spring’s previews of Important Canadian Art and the Charles Bronfman Claridge Collection of Canadian Decorative Arts were complemented by significant works from our Inuit Art auction; contemporary Inuit sculpture was offered as part of our Concrete Contemporary Canadian Art auction with great success; and Inuit graphics were included in our Spring Auction of International prints and Photographs. Treating all our Canadian art clients to powerful Inuit art emphasized the strength and character of Inuit art within the broader Canadian art spectrum and brings these worlds of collecting a little closer together.

This is a direction Waddington’s will continue to forge. We know that accessing new client markets is essential to building the future of any art form and you can look forward to seeing much more cross over of great Canadian works at Waddington’s in future auction seasons.

We are now accepting consignments for the upcoming fall auction. To book your appointment or for more information contact Christa Ouimet our Inuit Art Specialist at

Duncan McLean President, Waddington's

Roger Aksadjuak with Marc-Aurele Fortin
Judas Ooloolah, Abraham Etungat and Uriash Puqiqnak with Frank Gehry (fish), Joe Fafard (sculpture), David Bolduc, Henri Masson (still life), and Marc-Aurele Fortin
David Ruben Piqtoukun with Frank Hans Johnston
Osuitok Ipeelee with A. J. Casson
John Tiktak with William Ronald
Pauta Saila with Goodridge Roberts
Osuitok Ipeelee with Harold Town
Pauta Saila with Jean-Phillippe Dallaire
Joe’s boat
Posted: 8/14/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Duncan McLean

Seeking Consignments for our Fall 2014 Inuit Art Auction

After much speculation about who carved this stunning work, the market decided it was worth more than four times its pre-sale estimate, hammering down at $14,400.

With the spring auction season behind us, our sights are set on finding new treasures to add to your collections or depending on your circumstances, help you divest your art while achieving the best possible results.

Our spring auction demonstrated once again the benefits of working with Waddington's as we offered a wide selection of artwork from across the Canadian Arctic and Greenland. We recruited new buyers by coordinating our preview times with the Fine Canadian Art auction as we did with our Contemporary Decorative Arts auction last fall. We set record prices for artists and categories of work. Our auction attendance amounted to a full room of active bidders, along with our stable of pro phone and absentee bidders we noticed an increasing number of online bidders as well.

We have had such great feedback after the sale and I'd like to personally thank the consigners I worked with last season who made the auction possible, along with the passionate collectors who keep coming back in support of Inuit art each season.

In case you missed the outcome of our spring auction, I've listed your favourite pieces along with their results from the auction in this blog.

We are now accepting consignments for the upcoming fall auction. Be a part of the tradition that is Inuit art at Waddington's by contacting me to book your appointment or for more information start by sending images directly to me at

We hope you'll mark your calendars for November 17th. We look forward to doing it all again with you in the fall.

Christa Ouimet

Our delightful cover piece encompassed the whimsy, balance and skill that we have become accustomed to seeing in Osuitok's greatest works. This piece now resides in one of the finest, private art collections and sold for $48,000.
The highest price achieved this season for a "Joe Boat". Waddington's has set numerous records for the field of Inuit art with Joe Talirunili's Migrations. This depiction of a packed umiak full of people desperate to reach land fetched a whopping $140,500.
There has not been a finer example of legendary artist David Ruben Piqtouken's work on the auction market in recent years. This piece appealed to everyone who viewed it during our exhibition in June, resulting in a final price of $13,300.
$28,800 was the price for this fabulous work on paper by Jessie Oonark. A new record achieved for the artist and Inuit drawings in general.
Posted: 7/23/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Policy Statement: Rhinoceros Horn & Elephant Ivory

In support of the worldwide concern for the increasing illegal sale of poached rhinoceros horn and elephant ivory, Waddington’s brings new strict guidelines into place. Effective July 1, 2014, Waddington’s will not accept consignments of any items made of or containing rhinoceros horn for auction. Further, we will not accept any items of elephant ivory made after 1940.

Waddington’s wholeheartedly supports and is governed by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as set out in 1973. We work diligently to ensure that we are always in full compliance with the Convention and all Canadian and international laws as they effect us designed to protect against the fostering of the illegal rhinoceros horn and elephant ivory trades. We also provide full disclosure to all our clients – both vendors and buyers – that they are required to abide by CITES restrictions and any restrictions or laws as specified by their own countries.
Posted: 6/8/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Tess McLean

Why Osuitok on our Catalogue Cover?

You may wonder how a catalogue cover is chosen. Sometimes it’s the final stage of catalogue preparation, and sometimes the first. Whenever the right item chooses to reveal itself – the cover can almost set the tone for the entire auction. For that reason we selected the majestic Hawk by Osuitok Ipeelee to be the cover of our June 2 auction. Not only because it is an important example of Inuit art, but also because it is a true reflection of what makes any work of art compelling and powerful. I promise the cover is just the beginning - between the pages of this catalogue you’ll find many more examples of great art.

Since our inaugural Inuit art auction in 1978, we’ve keenly watched its growth in popularity and demand. It’s been gratifying to see Inuit art be acknowledged with increasing respect and to be part of its international development. As I work more closely with my colleagues in our Canadian, contemporary and International art departments, I’ve also seen an increase within our own diverse client base as the lines blur between what used to be defined as purely Inuit, contemporary or Canadian art.

One of the best parts of bringing this auction together is that it’s built almost entirely from private collections. This means we’ve had the privilege to meet and talk with collectors who had a personal connection to the North, people who travelled or worked in the Arctic many years ago. How wonderful it must have been to have the opportunity to see and be able to buy works from some of the very early artists. I thank you for sharing your stories and for entrusting these wonderful works to us. It is also so amazing to spend time surrounded by works by the great masters. I never tire of being in the presence of extraordinary pieces by John Tiktak, George Tataniq, Pauta Saila, Ennutsiak, John Kavik, Joe Talirunili and so many others, during our cataloguing process.

The next several weeks will be one of my favourite times of year – I get to see many friends who share my passion for Inuit art and who celebrate its success. This auction is filled with wonderful art – I know you’ll find something you love.

Christa Ouimet
Specialist, Inuit Art

View the Auction Catalogue

Posted: 5/7/2014 7:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Specialists' Preview - Spring 2014 Auction Highlights
April 3 – 8, 2014

Sometimes what’s old is truly new again. Traditionally, Waddington’s held our much anticipated Fine Art Auctions bi-annually, a dedicated week of previewing and selling the best we had to offer for that season from all our departments. Previewed as an enormous mix of wonderful and eclectic, rare and beautiful, classically traditional and wildly eccentric, there was something for everyone and for every taste. As all our departments grew, it became unwieldy to organize all our auctions and previews into the same time period. Spreading the auctions throughout the spring was more manageable, and the departments began to conduct business more autonomously, focused on their core proven markets and clients.

Fast forward ten years and we see an evolution in market tastes and buying trends. Today, fewer people collect as a hobby in pursuit of objects from a narrow, focused area of interest. Nowadays people are more likely to collect to decorate their home or business – and they’re much more willing to mix cultures, textures and periods to create an individualized environment. In reflection, our traditional preview settings more suited to the current more diversified market. They made it easy to imagine how things would look in situ – how an English highland painting might look beside the Sorel Etrog sculpture already in your home, how the clean and powerful lines of an Inuit sculpture could complement your Group of Seven canvas. How a delicate Chinese vase is flattered by art deco bronze figures and English silver candle sticks. It was almost like looking at the pages of a décor magazine.

So we’re borrowing from the past. We’re bringing back the multi-department preview to demonstrate how great but different art can blend together. Our specialists (some of the best in the world in their various categories of expertise) have handpicked their favourite items from their spring season auctions. The most interesting, most eclectic, and in some cases the most valuable, to be previewed together in our gallery in one glorious display. And to further enhance the experience, we’ve also invited Farrow & Ball to be part of the display, weaving in the colour palette and wallpaper highlights from their spring season.

We look forward to sharing some of our favourite things with you.

Please be sure to visit April 3 – 8.

Posted: 3/31/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Duncan McLean

Seeking Consignments for our Spring 2014 Inuit Art Auction

Happy new year. I hope that everyone had a great holiday and are looking forward to the spring season.
Waddington's will do its part to entice you where art is concerned, as we have many new auctions and events added to our traditional spring line-up. If you haven't' signed up for auction notifications for our various disciplines please do so here

The gallery for our first online Inuit art auction of 2014 is available for perusal. We have refined our selection process even further for these auctions raising the standard of works included. Online Inuit art auctions have been offered as part of Waddington's services for five years now and we will continue providing you with a year round supply of art by established names as well as interesting gems. If these auctions are not yet on your radar, you are missing out. Are you looking for an affordable sculpture by Barnabus? Have you always wanted to own an Anguhadluq print? Look no further because our January 20th-23rd online auction offers more than one option for your collection.

We already have several works entrusted to us for our highly anticipated live Inuit art auction scheduled for June 2nd. A group of which were collected in the late 1960's and early '70's in Rankin Inlet, Whale Cove and Great Whale River. Highlighting this collection is a 12" figural stone work by John Tiktak, as well as some fantastic smaller scale pieces by John Kavik such as a rare depiction of a polar bear standing on its hind legs. We are also excited to share with you a lovely large scale piece by lesser known artist Noah Aglak from Igloolik. His depiction of a seated woman in her amautiq is reminiscent of those early mother and child sculptures so typical of the Inukjuak region.

We invite you to be a part of our spring auction which is sure to be as well received as our fall offering was.
The following is a list of only some of the artists and works we are seeking:

Pauta Saila
George Tataniq
Barnabus Arnasungaaq
Miriam Qiyuk
Mathew Aqigaaq
Osuitok Ipeelee
Judas Ullulaq
Karoo Ashevak
Joe Talirunili
Andy Miki
John Pangnark
John Tiktak
Sheokjuk Oqutaq
John Kavik
Kiawak and Kaka Ashoona
Charlie Ugyuk
Lukta Qiatsuk
Latcholassie Akesuk
Henry Evaluardjuk
David Ikutaaq
Kenojuak Ashevak
Manasie Akpaliapik
Niviaksiak (Niviaxie)
Peggy Ekagina
Luke Anguhadluq
Classic sculpture and graphics from the 1950's and 1960's
Works on cloth and paper by Jessie Oonark and Marion Tuu'luq
...and so much more.

If you don't know what you have or your work is unsigned, just email me images with dimensions and provenance and I'll be happy to shed some light.

Contact me directly to learn more about consignment to Waddington's.
I look forward to working with you soon.

Christa Ouimet
Director, Inuit Art Department
Waddington's Auctioneers & Appraisers
275 King St. East
Toronto, ON
M5A 1K2
Toll-Free: 1.877.504.5700 ext. 6184
Phone: 416-847-6184
Fax: 416-504-0033

Posted: 1/31/2014 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Inuit Art Continues to Shine at Auction

Thank you to all who attended our Fall Live auction of Important Inuit art on Monday evening (November 18th, 2013). We are thrilled with the individual results as well as the overall successful selling rate.

Some of the highlights include our catalogue cover piece which fetched $38,400 (lot 102) as well as the gorgeous Henry Evaluardjuk polar bear for $21,600 (lot 120). In graphics, we were especially pleased to see that Oonark's three colored pencil drawings fetched over $22,000 collectively (lots 60-62). One of the most admired works in the auction was Elizabeth Nutaraluk's tableau of a mother adorned with her children, a little over 7" high it ended up fetching 6 times its estimate.

Some of you wondered why our fall auction was held a couple of weeks later than usual this year. By adjusting our schedule this fall, Waddington's succeeded in exposing Inuit art to a wider audience. Through hosting events and combining our advanced preview with the Claridge Collection preview we were able to show the works to even more potential collectors in addition to our valued clients that are already familiar with Inuit art. In review, Inuit art was on display a total of 9 days this month including two weekends. There were three private events attended by a total of over 100 esteemed guests. An additional 150 people attended our exclusive preview and cocktail evening prior to the Claridge auction.

At Waddington's, we continually strive to nurture new awareness for Inuit art which is becoming highly important in this changing economy and collecting demographic. As Inuit art lovers we know you share our desire to expand the collecting base in order to encourage a healthy market and strong public perception about this beloved art form. We are truly grateful for your support this season, and as is the case for many of you, the support you've demonstrated over the last 35 years of Inuit art auctions at Waddington's. We follow up our exciting auction season with a fresh batch of Inuit artwork in our online auction in January 2014, while we continue to hunt for top quality artwork to offer you in our Spring Live auction of Important Inuit art.

Follow me on Facebook for exclusive updates throughout the year.

Posted: 11/20/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Buying Inuit Art at Auction

In about a week from now, Waddington's will once again offer over 300 works of Important Inuit art to the world. It is amazing to think that Waddington's fall auction is now a 35 year tradition; making it an institution in the world of collecting.

One of many things that distinguishes Inuit art from other art forms is the diversity inherent in the art created across the Canadian Arctic. Just look at a typical work from Gjoa Haven with it’s wildly expressive faces and figural contortions and contrast it with one created in Cape Dorset where sculpture is often gracefully refined depictions of a caribou or owl for example. Diversity is also reflected in the wide range of prices achieved in Inuit art. This upcoming auction features pieces valued from $200 to $30,000. It is an art form that is accessible to every level of collector, from the novice to the experienced.

What's more, is that these attainably priced pieces are of no less significance than their higher priced counterparts. It is often the highlight results that are publicized after the auctions, and many people are led to believe that Inuit art is "out of their league". But at Waddington's, we have always had an affinity for the "diamond in the rough", the little gem that is sometimes overlooked by mainstream buyers or overshadowed by big name artists. In an attempt to highlight the smaller pieces that often come with a lower estimate, we began referring to them as Small Wonders, and during our previews we exhibit them on custom made miniature pedestals. During our viewing this weekend, I urge you to take a moment to savour the uniqueness of each of these pieces.

Many of you who are new to collecting have asked me: Where do I start? What should I buy? New collectors are often intimidated about their level of knowledge about this exciting art form. My consistent message to all of you is collect what you love. When you walk around our gallery, or flip through our catalogue, what piece do you keep returning to? What have you kept thinking about for days after you first laid eyes on it? If you follow this approach, you truly cannot go wrong.

For more Inuit art gems see our Inuit Art Live Auction Gallery and visit us in person this weekend November 16th, 17th from 11am-4pm and November 18 from 10am-Noon.

Auction begins at 6pm on November 18th.

For your convenience we offer phone bidding & absentee bids. As well as online bidding through Artfact.

Posted: 11/13/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Waddington's Fall 2013 Auction of Inuit Art

Waddington's is pleased to present this season's offerings in our biannual Auction of Important Inuit Art. As the leader in Inuit art for 35 years we continue to offer you a selection of artwork truly worthy of your attention. The range of material on offer this fall has never been more diverse or of higher quality.

This season we have some very special sculptures, graphics, and works on cloth entrusted to us from private collections. We are privileged to have been chosen to offer The Dr. and Mrs. Philip H. Gray Collection of Inuit Art, which includes pieces by major artists such as Luke Iksiktaaryuk, Jessie Oonark, Kenojuak Ashevak, Judas Ullulaq, Henry Evaluardjuk, Parr, Joe Talirunili, John Tiktak and more. In addition, we are offering a fine selection from the Zazelenchuk Collection which emphasizes the unique vision of the artists from the Kivalliq region, specifically Kangiqliniq (Rankin Inlet) and Qamani'tuaq (Baker Lake), where Stanley and Jean spent much of their time in the North. The essays that follow offer more information on these important collectors.

In addition to these collections, this auction is composed of a further 200 pieces consigned by individuals from across North America and Europe. Many of these collectors have travelled the Arctic extensively and have been enthusiastic supporters of Inuit art since the earliest days. As well, we have several works from the estate of esteemed collector Neil Kernaghan. We extend our appreciation to the consigners, the buyers, the experts – and most of all the artists – without whom this auction would not be possible. We hope that you will be able to attend the previews and auction, or visit us online, and that you find something you love in our latest offering of fine Inuit art.

View the Auction Catalogue

— Christa Ouimet
Inuit Art Specialist
Posted: 10/28/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

An update on Inuit Art consignments for the Fall auction

This Fall auction of Inuit art is a culmination of hard work, travel, great relationships and wonderful collectors. Duncan's visit to Yellowknife and Edmonton proved to be very rewarding with many old friendships reignited and new friendships made. We look forward to visiting again soon!

The countdown to November 18th is on, the consignment period is coming to a close which means preparations for the catalogue are under way. We want you to be as excited as we are about this season's offerings. Since we last checked in with you, we've had even more fantastic pieces added to our auction including two prestigious collections that are sure to pique your interest.

We are pleased to announce that The Dr. and Mrs. Philip H. Gray Collection of Inuit art is entrusted to us for our November 18th auction of Important Inuit art. Highlights include this spectacular Head by John Tiktak. Mrs. Gray recalls the work was acquired in 1970 from George Swinton.

Selections of the Mr. and Mrs. Stanley Zazelenchuk Collection of Inuit art will be included in this Fall auction as well.

We are offering two museum worthy pieces from the early 1950's with classic soap and ivory inlay. Both are the revered mother with children subject matter.

A very strong version of Luke Iksiktaaryuk's Drum Dance Gathering is here and if you are a serious collector, you need this piece in your collection. Helga Goetz notes in The People Within, AGO exhibition catalogue, “In Luke Iksiktaaryuk we return to an artist whose interest is in the life of the traditional community. Detail and motion are kept to a minimum in his figure groups which become skeletal, evocative visions of life as it was. They are frozen in time and space.”

We're looking forward to seeing you this November. Don't forget we have extra preview dates scheduled so please check the website or make an appointment with me to view your future acquisitions!
Posted: 9/24/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Inuit Art Department Accepting Consignments for Upcoming Fall Auctions

This summer has been busier than ever, as we seek sculpture, graphics and wall hangings to offer our passionate collectors of Inuit art.

I will be in Ottawa September 7th on a consignment trip. Duncan McLean will be in Edmonton September 12th on a consignment trip. If you are interested in consigning works please contact me at

There is a small selection of interesting works available to view in our online preview gallery at this time, but with new consignments coming in every day of the week, I suggest that you check back often.

We are pleased to have two very special works by Andy Miki entrusted to us by a private collector of Inuit art. They are larger than those usually available on the market and are fine examples of his work from Whale Cove likely done in the late 1960's. We are also featuring a very special collection that contains works by John Tiktak, Joe Talirunili, George Tataniq and Luke Iksiktaaryuk. More information on that to come. We have some major pieces from various consignors by artists, Charlie Ugyuk, Judas Ullulaq, Pauta Saila and Karoo Ashevak, as well as sought after prints by Niviaksiak, Parr and drawings by Jessie Oonark and Annie Pootoogook.

Don't forget to visit us during our previews and please contact me for a private viewing if you cannot make it during the scheduled times below.

Highlights will be on view during the Charles Bronfman's Claridge Collection Auction preview:

Thursday 31 October 9:00am-5:00pm
Friday 1 November 9:00am-5:00pm
Saturday 2 November 11:00am-5:00pm
Sunday 3 November 11:00am-5:00pm
Monday 4 November 9:00am-5:00pm
Tuesday 5 November 9:00am-5:00pm

Live Auction preview times are as follows:

Sunday 17 November
from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Monday 18 November
from 10:00 am - 12:00 Noon
Posted: 8/29/2013 11:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Identifying Inuit Art

Date: September 27, 2013 (Panel); September 28-29, 2013 (Exhibition)
Time: 12 PM – 4 PM (Panel), 10 AM – 6 PM (Exhibition)
Where: Museum of Inuit art, 207 Queen's Quay West

This year we will celebrate Culture Days with an exhibition on “Identifying Inuit Art”. Bring your art objects to the museum on Friday, September 27, 2013 and have it examined by a panel ofInuit art specialists. Or stop by and watch these detectives at work as they identify unknownartists and correct misattributions on some of the pieces in the MIA Collection.

Alysa Procida, Curator at the Museum of Inuit Art
Christa Ouimet, Director of the Inuit Art Department at Waddingtons
RJ Ramrattan, Manager at Canadian Arctic Producers
Posted: 8/29/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet

Inuit Art, Prints of Nature - The Economist

The Economist: Inuit art - Prints of nature

IT IS a truism that governments are usually bad at picking economic winners and losers. But, as with any man-made rule, there can be exceptions. The story of the Cape Dorset artist collective in the Canadian Arctic is one of them.

In the late 1950s James Houston, a Canadian federal government administrator, first encouraged the Inuit community in the area to take up printmaking. As Cape Dorset, a town of just 1,200 people, lies far above the northern tree line, printmaking was not previously a popular form of art. Houston, who was also an artist, imported supplies, set up a printmaking shop and taught the Inuit techniques he had learnt while briefly studying in Japan with Un’ichi Hiratsuka, a woodcut printmaker.

From 1959 the collective of Cape Dorset artists began releasing annual catalogued collections. Their works have since built up a small but international market. The first portfolio of 39 works—21 stone- cut, 18 sealskin stencil and two stone “rubbings”—earned the collective C$20,000. The only remaining complete first portfolio of these works has been publicly exhibited once since then, at the National Gallery of Canada in 2010 on loan from a private Canadian collector.

On May 6th, the portfolio will be auctioned by Waddington’s (/auctions/2013/05-06- inuit), an auction house in Toronto which specialises in Inuit art. It is expected to fetch C$450,000.

The Inuit artists drew inspiration from their Arctic world—polar bears swimming among ice floes, a hunter poised over a hole in the ice waiting for a seal to emerge, caribou in the dim winter light. In these early prints, the forms are simple but elegant and the colour palette is almost primary.

The publicity garnered by the 1959 catalogue helped launch Inuit art as a new artistic form in Canada. The government support for these artists was not altruistic. Following the second world war it was government policy to relocate the nomadic Inuit to settlements, usually near one of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s trading posts that the fur trader had built across the country. But having deprived the Inuit of their ability to live off the land, the government needed to find them something to do. Although Inuktitut, the local Inuit language, has no word for art —it is translated as “isumanivi”, which means “your own thoughts”, or “sanaugaq”, meaning “things made by hand”—they had a tradition of carving small stone figures as toys and decorating clothing with sealskin appliques.

It was the gift of a small carving from an Inuit in 1948 that first persuaded Houston that an art industry could be a fruitful northern venture. The enthusiasm for making art, including prints, continues today, not just in Cape Dorset but also in the wider territory of Nunavut, which has a population of 34,000. Currently, more than 10% of the population make some or all of their living from making art. The most recent government GDP figures put the art industry just behind mining (although that might say more about the current weakness of the mining industry).

Houston’s printmaking introduced a strong contemporary-art scene but stone carving, the most popular form of art, is also the oldest. The land claims agreement, which established Nunavut as a territory in 1999 and is akin to its constitution, even gives an individual Inuk the right to remove up to 50 cubic yards of carving stone per year from Crown lands without a permit.

Posted: 5/3/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Jamie Long

Kenojuak Ashevak (1927-2013)

Renowned artist Kenojuak Ashevak passed away yesterday. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family and close friends.

Kenojuak shared much of herself through her art, and it is why so many of us felt close to her and feel this loss on a personal level. As a pioneer of print making in the North, and a career spanning decades, Kenojuak has been an inspiration to many. Kenojuak's graphic work served as a gateway for me into the fascinating world of Inuit art, a door she opened for countless art collectors and appreciators.

I did not know her well, but I was honored to have spent time with her in her home several years ago, and was amazed at how relaxed and welcoming she was hosting our visit. It is a cherished memory. I also have the great fortune of being surrounded by her creations almost every day, a constant reminder and tribute to her genius.

Her passing is a tremendous loss for Canadian art but she left us with an unparalleled body of work and an influence on future artists that will last lifetimes.

(Photo: Kenojuak Ashevak at home with Duncan McLean and Christa Ouimet in 2007)

Posted: 1/9/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: Duncan McLean


TORONTO (November 5, 2012) – A magnificent sculpture by Inuit artist Joe Talirunili was the highlight of Waddingtons’s Fall Inuit Art Auction, selling for $290,000 CDN (including buyer’s premium).

The price marks a new world record for a piece of Inuit art at auction. The Migration, which recounts the harrowing journey of the artist and other survivors on a crowded, hastily constructed skin boat or umiak, and paddling through breaking ice floes to reach safety. The artist visited the theme frequently in his work, in both print and sculpture, but this circa 1970s piece is a crown jewel amongst those depictions. Bidding was exceptionally quick on the “Joe Boat”, soaring past the presale estimate of $100,000 to $150,000 before finally being hammered down by Waddington’s President and auctioneer Duncan McLean to thunderous applause.

The new record for both genre and artist surpassed the previous high watermark of $278,000 CDN, achieved for another Joe Boat in 2006, and also sold by Waddington’s. The result also marks the highest price achieved for any Canadian sculpture at auction this year, and likely in the top three all time.

Taking place on a chilly Monday evening in Toronto, the exceptional price heated up bidding in the room, with artwork by famed artists Judas Ullulaq, Ennutsiak, Karoo Ashevak, Josiah Nuilaalik, Pauta Saila, and Jessie Oonark all fetching values at the high end or exceeding their estimates, and driving the total for the night to over $770,000.

The impressive auction slate also featured a rare white stone Pauta Saila polar bear, for over $20,000. This spectacular auction attracted collectors and dealers from across the world. Inuit Art Specialist Christa Ouimet noted, “We are thrilled with the results of the sale. To have one of the most famous Inuit works in the sale, and to set a new world record for it, makes this a very special night. The results continue to speak to the fact that this is a truly remarkable art form, one that is recognized by art collectors all over the world.”

An online auction of Inuit art is slated to open for bids on Monday, November 12th.

For further information, please contact Christa Ouimet at 416-847-6184 or

Posted: 11/5/2012 12:00:00 AM
By: Jamie Long

Inuit Art

Along with all the obvious signs of the changing season, the arrival of Fall signifies a fresh offering of art from us at Waddington’s. Over the summer I sought out some of the best representations of Inuit art’s major artists as well as unique and collectible pieces, early and interesting graphics, and carvings with history or stories attached. The “Joe Boat” for example is the highest profile piece in the upcoming auction as well as the iconic Enchanted Owl whose captivating glare graces the cover of the Fall catalogue. These two significant items are trophy pieces for the advanced collector however, there are many hidden gems in the auction as well. I urge you to come to the preview on November 3rd & 4th from 11am to 5pm and on the 5th from 10am to noon to peruse the almost 300 works of museum quality art on display.

I also want to invite you to friend me on facebook so that we can keep in touch throughout the year. I will keep you up to date from behind the scenes and would love to hear from you.
Posted: 10/15/2012 12:00:00 AM
By: Christa Ouimet


Inuit Art Online Auction
August 25 - 30, 2018

On View:
Sunday, August 26
from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Monday, August 27
from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Inuit Art Online Auction
September 15 - 20, 2018

On View:
Sunday, September 16
from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Monday, September 17
from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Northwest Coast Art Online Auction
September 29 - October 4, 2018

On View:
Sunday, September 30
from 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Monday, October 1
from 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Inuit Art Auction
Tuesday, November 20, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Friday, November 16
from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Saturday, November 17
from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Sunday, November 18
from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm
Monday, November 19
from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm