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Canadian & Inuit Sculptures

Sculptures from Native Canadian artists have been found as early as 600 B.C., with early sculptures depicting birds, human faces, and small masks. They are believed to have had a ritualistic purpose of warding off evil spirits. In the Dorset culture, Native Canadian artists sculpted walrus ivory, caribou antler, and soft stones.

The Thule people, who replaced the Dorset around 1000 A.D., favored a more utilitarian sculpture. Much of their sculpture focused on decorating objects such as buttons and harpoons. This changed in the 1500s after Western contact when the Inuit began to trade with Western whalers. Artists began to produce artwork specifically for a more commercial western audience. This change was later reinforced by the Canadian government, which sought to promote native arts as a source of stable income for Inuit communities.

Today, Inuit sculptures are typically carved in soapstone for decorative purposes. Animal materials are still used on occasion, and these sculptures are considered more rare and valuable.


Quick Facts

  • The Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec houses one of the largest collections of Canadian sculptures. Founded in 1856, it is one of North America'’s oldest artistic institutions
  • The First People's Hall, one of three main installations within the Canadian Museum of History, chronicles 20,000 years of native history
  • 20th-century Inuit sculptor John Pangnark has exhibited pieces worldwide. His sculptures focus on incorporating formal elements of modern geometrical abstraction

Recommended Items at Auction

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Inuit carved stone sculpture, 13 inches tall, 11 …
Dec 03, 1:00 PM EST
Inuit carved stone sculpture, 13 inches tall, 11 …
by Blackwood March Auctioneers
Est: $200- $400
$1252 Bids
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INUIT CARVED SOAPSTONE POLAR BEAR SEAL SCULPTURE
Dec 03, 9:00 AM MST
INUIT CARVED SOAPSTONE POLAR BEAR SEAL SCULPTURE
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
EARLY 20TH C GREENLAND ESKIMO TUPILAK INUIT CARVING
Dec 10, 12:00 PM EST
EARLY 20TH C GREENLAND ESKIMO TUPILAK INUIT CARVING
by RB Fine Arts
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
Eddie Omnik Inuit Carved Stone Sculpture, Seals H 9.5" L 6" D 3"
Dec 14, 11:00 AM EST
Eddie Omnik Inuit Carved Stone Sculpture, Seals H 9.5" L 6" D 3"
by DuMouchelles
Est: $150- $300
$700 Bids
Paulosie Sivuak Inuit Soapstone Figural Carving
Dec 17, 1:00 PM EST
Paulosie Sivuak Inuit Soapstone Figural Carving
by Kavanagh Auctions
Est: $40- $15,000
$400 Bids
Inuit Bone Sea Otter Figure
Dec 02, 10:00 AM GMT
Inuit Bone Sea Otter Figure
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £800- £1,000
£8000 Bids
Inuit Carving of a Female Figure
Dec 02, 10:00 AM GMT
Inuit Carving of a Female Figure
by TimeLine Auctions
Est: £200- £300
£1800 Bids
INUIT CARVED STONE SCULPTURE SIGNED
Jan 02, 11:00 AM EST
INUIT CARVED STONE SCULPTURE SIGNED
by Austin York LLC
Est: $40- $80
$300 Bids
Lot of 2 Inuit Carved Soapstone Figures, Signed
Dec 17, 1:00 PM EST
Lot of 2 Inuit Carved Soapstone Figures, Signed
by Kavanagh Auctions
Est: $40- $15,000
$400 Bids
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INUIT CARVED BONE FIGURE OF A DANCING MAN 20th Century Height 9”.
Dec 09, 9:30 AM EST
INUIT CARVED BONE FIGURE OF A DANCING MAN 20th Century Height 9”.
by Eldred's
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
Inuit hardstone Statue signed w/ Canadian label
Dec 17, 7:00 PM EST
Inuit hardstone Statue signed w/ Canadian label
by Tunicks Auction Gallery
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
Large Vintage Alaskan Jade Carved Inuit Whale Sculpture
Dec 17, 7:00 PM EST
Large Vintage Alaskan Jade Carved Inuit Whale Sculpture
by Tunicks Auction Gallery
Est: $600- $1,200
$3000 Bids
Inuit Hand Carved, Hand Painted Seal Sculpture
Dec 17, 7:00 PM EST
Inuit Hand Carved, Hand Painted Seal Sculpture
by Tunicks Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $400
$500 Bids
Inuit Dancing Bear
Dec 03, 5:00 PM PST
Inuit Dancing Bear
by Simrit Collection
Est: $750- $775
$3750 Bids
Inuit Bear Cubs Dancing Pair
Dec 03, 5:00 PM PST
Inuit Bear Cubs Dancing Pair
by Simrit Collection
Est: $750- $950
$3750 Bids
Alaskan Jade Signed Inuit Carved Stones Wolf Sculpture
Dec 17, 7:00 PM EST
Alaskan Jade Signed Inuit Carved Stones Wolf Sculpture
by Tunicks Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $400
$500 Bids
INUIT CARVED STONE SEAL SIGNED
Jan 02, 11:00 AM EST
INUIT CARVED STONE SEAL SIGNED
by Austin York LLC
Est: $40- $80
$200 Bids
Collection of Decorative Inuit Pieces
Dec 10, 10:00 AM CST
Collection of Decorative Inuit Pieces
by Link Auction Galleries
Est: $250- $400
$1250 Bids
Inuit Whale Bone Carved Eskimo Sculpture H 12''
Dec 14, 11:00 AM EST
Inuit Whale Bone Carved Eskimo Sculpture H 12''
by DuMouchelles
Est: $300- $500
$1500 Bids
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A collection of Inuit objects
Dec 08, 11:00 AM PST
A collection of Inuit objects
by Bonhams
Est: $800- $1,200
$8000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Canadian & Inuit Sculptures


DuMouchelles

DuMouchelles

Leonard Joel

Leonard Joel

TimeLine Auctions

TimeLine Auctions