Juanisialuk Irqumia - Dog Attacking Bear 13/40
Lot Number:
Start Time:7/20/2023 7:00:00 PM
End Time:9/6/2023 10:59:00 PM
Bid Count:0
Winning Bidder:
Starting Bid:$200.00
Bid Increment:$25.00
Estimate Range:$500.00 - $600.00
Current Bid:
Next Bid:
Bidding complete

Stonecut 13/40 - Puvirnituq Co-op

Titled, Numbered, Dated & Signed Across Lower Border

Sheet - 10.5 ins x 10.5 ins (26.67 cm x 26.67 cm)


Paper: Natural 

Printmaker: Caroline Qumaluk


Private Collection

Juanisialuk Irqumia ᔪᐊᓂᓯᐊᓗᒃ 

(1917 – 1977  Indigenous / CAD)

One of the original inhabitants of Puvirnituq.

An introverted person, Irqumia preferred to carve & draw alone at home. He carved directly onto his stone-blocks, without the aid of a drawing. Families, birds, hunting scenes, and people at work were favourite subjects for Irqumia. Firmly rooted in realism, his work rarely addresses Inuit mythology.

A participant in the fateful “migration” often depicted in fellow artist Joe Talirunili’s sculptures, Irqumia was one of 40 people once stranded on a melting ice floe. Many people drowned during the ordeal, including Irqumia’s sister Annie and her two children. The survivors were adrift at sea for several days before they reached land. Irqumia was said to have suffered from a rare affliction known as “kayak anxiety,” probably a form of agoraphobia that caused him to become disoriented in open spaces. He did not go out in a kayak in open water for fear of losing consciousness and drowning. Perhaps this anxiety also influenced his artistic practice; scholars noted that “he avoids an open plane by using the boundary of the stone or landscape to circumscribe his subjects. His prints always have more than one figure . . . all firmly anchored in defined space” (Mitchell 1975:13).

Irqumia’s work has been exhibited at the international level in important venues in New York, Germany, and Sweden. His work has also been exhibited widely throughout North America and is included in some of the country’s best collections of Inuit art.

Although it is quite likely that Irqumia began carving prior to 1956, few examples from this time period exist. His carvings from the 1960s are particularly accomplished, however, and suggest a certain maturity as an artist. Irqumia’s family scenes, which are particularly poignant, often incorporate a sophisticated use of negative space. Figures stand clearly defined as individuals by the space surrounding them, although family members may embrace or work side by side. Typically, each piece is carved from one stone, with individual elements linked by a common base.

Primarily a carver at the beginning of his career, Irqumia did not begin to work with stonecut prints until 1962. That year, under the leadership of a new technical advisor, Victor Tinkl, the Povungnituk Co-operative undertook printmaking as a profit-generating venture. With assistance from the Canadian Eskimo Arts Council, the first-ever collection of Puvirnituq prints was released to the public alongside the annual Cape Dorset collection. Easily transferring his skills as a carver to the more two-dimensional nature of preparing stone-blocks for printing, Irqumia’s printwork was competent from the onset.

Similar to his beautifully carved sculptures of people at work, Irqumia’s prints often feature people as they go about their daily chores: men hunt; women dry skins; families travel across the land in search of food. Unlike his figurative carvings, however, Irqumia’s prints intermittently feature animated compositions of various animals devoid of human presence. His lyrical depictions of caribou are especially noteworthy, and are reminiscent of the elegant stags and unicorns featured in medieval tapestries. The stonecut medium also allowed for the integration of more detailed elements into Irqumia’s work. For example, clothing details and landscape elements such as waves and grasses are denoted by carefully etched lines in the original stone block, as are elaborate facial expressions. Perhaps driven to include explanatory textual elements for the sake of posterity, Irqumia also began to include syllabic descriptions in many of his prints. Working consistently until 1976, one year before his passing, Irqumia’s latest pieces are especially didactic.

Irqumia’s work was presented to a public audience with the first annual release of the Puvirnituq Print Collection in 1962. One of 24 artists chosen to represent Puvirnituq in this landmark print release, nine of Irqumia’s prints were selected. His work was featured regularly in these releases until his death in 1977, and posthumously in 1980.

Irqumia’s carvings first gained attention in 1967, when his work was included in the groundbreaking exhibition, The Eskimo Art Collection of the Toronto–Dominion Bank. Conceived as a celebration of Canada’s centennial, the show was curated by experts in the field who sought to assemble “the best collection possible” (Ribkoff 2011).

A 17% Buyer's Premium will be added to the final Sales Price. All applicable taxes will be assessed based on the sum of the sales price and buyer's premium.

Stonecut 13/40 - Puvirnituq Co-op

Titled, Numbered, Dated & Signed Across Lower Border

Sheet - 10.5 ins x 10.5 ins (26.67 cm x 26.67 cm)


Paper: Natural 

Printmaker: Caroline Qumaluk


Private Collection

No donations for this lot


Terms & Conditions of Sale

The provisions of this statement shall govern and control any and all transactions between Northrow Limited and the Prospective Buyer, the Bidder, and the Winning Bidder. Northrow Limited acts as an agent for the Consignor and the relationship between these parties is subject to the Consignor Agreement.

1.         Northrow Limited dedicates many resources to identify and research each item but cannot guarantee its accuracy. Descriptions of, including but not limited to, the artist, medium, history, authenticity, title, size, date of production, and provenance may change until the final sale of the Item. Descriptions provided by Northrow Limited shall not serve as a representation of the Item and Northrow Limited does not guarantee the complete accuracy of description. Any description provided by Northrow Limited, implied or expressed verbally, visually, or through any other medium is not a guarantee of accuracy nor will Northrow Limited provide warranty for the description. All Items are available for inspection by potential buyers. Northrow Limited strongly suggests a full and thorough inspection by the interested parties prior to bidding as any failure on behalf of the Potential Buyer, Bidder, or Winning Bidder to notice or realise an inaccuracy in the description and/or illustration of the Item will not result in the withdrawal or reversal of the sale. Arrangements for viewing are subject to availability and the process for each sale will be announced prior to the auction date. Advisors and independent guarantors are welcome to accompany the interested parties for a viewing to provide their own guidance, but Northrow Limited will not be responsible for their statements, interpretations, or advice.

2.         Northrow Limited charges the Winning Bidder a buyer’s premium of 17% in addition to the winning bid price. An additional charge of 13% Harmonised Sales Tax (HST) will be collected as per the Government of Canada and Province of Ontario. The 13% HST will be applied to both the buyer’s premium collected by Northrow Limited and the winning bid price. For Items that are to be shipped outside of the Province of Ontario but within the country of Canada, the applicable taxes of the destination Province or Territory will be applied. On Items that are to be shipped outside of Canada, the Successful Bidder will be solely responsible for the organisation and completion of the necessary duties, taxes, and fees for their Items. All Items leaving Northrow Limited must be collected from the premises of Northrow Limited with the appropriate documentation and shipping labels. It is the sole responsibility of the Winning Bidder to ensure the accuracy of destination and tax related responsibilities. Northrow Limited will not be responsible for inaccurate, incomplete, or fraudulent representations by the Winning Bidder. The Winning Bidder acknowledges that Northrow Limited will not be liable or responsible for any damage or loss once the Item has left the premises.

3.         All participants acknowledge and accept that Northrow Limited may collect the buyer’s premium, HST, and other government-required fees as necessary from the Winning Bidder. All participants also acknowledge that Northrow Limited may collect a commission for the sale of an Item from the Consignor as per the Consignor Agreement.

4.         Northrow Limited cannot guarantee that the purchase of an Item necessarily includes the copyright or copyright allowances for that Item. This limitation includes the intellectual property rights, commercial rights, publication rights, and so on. Northrow Limited will not be responsible or liable for disputes related to copyright of an Item sold through Northrow Limited.

5.         An Item may be withdrawn from the sale for any reason at the sole discretion of Northrow Limited. All participants agree that Northrow Limited will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting from an Item’s removal prior to the total completion of the Item’s sale. Northrow Limited reserves the right to present an Item for sale in any fashion they see fit.

6.         Every person or entity that wishes to participate in a sale facilitated by Northrow Limited agrees to be bound by the Terms and Conditions of Sale as well as agreeing to register prior to the sale. By registering, each person understands that they represent themselves and are bidding solely on their behalf and are personally responsible for every bid they place. By registering, each person also certifies that they are of at least eighteen years of age or older at the time of registration. A registered bidder may represent another party only in the event that this arrangement is documented and expressly approved by Northrow Limited prior to the sale as well as an agreement between the representative and the person they are representing. A prior representative arrangement will not apply to any other sale except the one expressly agreed upon by all parties. Northrow Limited reserves the right to deny any request of arranging a representative at their sole discretion. If the Winning Bidder fails to comply with these requirements, they agree to be seen as wholly responsible for the Item that they had bid on and are representing themselves. Transference of an invoice to a third party by a representative will be done at the sole discretion of Northrow Limited and with authorisation by the party in which the invoice is to be transferred to.

7.         Northrow Limited reserves the right to refuse any bid at their sole and absolute discretion. Northrow Limited reserves the right to deny any person or entity requesting bidding registration at their sole and absolute discretion. Northrow Limited also reserves the right to cancel or suspend any account used for bidding at their sole discretion. Under no circumstances may a Bidder withdraw or change their submitted bid.

8.         Northrow Limited may provide a service of absentee bidding on behalf of the interested party. Those who wish to submit an absentee bid agree to the Terms and Conditions of Sale as well as the terms and conditions included in the Absentee Agreement Form. Absentee Bidders acknowledge that Northrow Limited provides this service as a courtesy and will not be held liable or responsible for the failure of their bid to be placed for any reason. In the event that two absentee bids are placed for the identical amount, the earlier complete bid will take precedence. For an absentee bid to be considered complete, the required documentation and deposit outlined in the Absentee Agreement Form must be collected and approved prior to the sale as well as meeting any and all conditions outlined in the Terms and Conditions of Sale and Privacy Policy.

9.         Northrow Limited is not responsible for any technical errors that may arise through the use of Northrow’s Online Bidding platform. By using the online bidding platform, all users agree to hold Northrow Limited free from liability to any damage or loss resulting from the online platform’s use, including the inability to place a bid, register, participate, or access the site. All users also agree that any errors published to the online platform fall under the conditions releasing Northrow Limited from liability, including but not limited to, descriptions, illustrations, and technological errors.

10.       Upon completion of the sale, the Winning Bidder shall be recognised as the Purchaser and will assume the complete risk and responsibility for the purchased Item, complying with the Terms and Conditions of Sale. If the result of a sale is disputed, Northrow Limited reserves the right to rescind any transaction with the Winning Bidder and designate another winner or remove the Item from the sale entirely. The result of a sale and outcome of an Item shall be determined by Northrow Limited at their sole discretion.

11.       Immediately following the completion of the sale, the Winning Bidder will be charged the total amount listed on their invoice. The Winning Bidder hereby authorises Northrow Limited to charge the Winning Bidder’s registered payment method with the full amount of their invoice. In the event that the initial charge is unsuccessful, a second charge of 10% of the total invoice amount will be made against the Winning Bidder’s registered payment method and be held as a deposit until total payment has been arranged with Northrow Limited. The Winning Bidder hereby authorises Northrow Limited to make a second attempt of charging the Winning Bidder’s registered payment method with a deposit of 10% of the total invoice price in the event that the first charge for the Winning Bidder’s total invoice is unsuccessful. The Winning Bidder also agrees that the Item they placed the winning bid on may not be removed from the premises of Northrow Limited or Northrow Limited’s secondary storage locations without full and complete payment of their invoice. The Winning Bidder agrees to settle final payment of their invoice within seven business days. Failure to settle an invoice or collect an Item within seven business days may result in monthly interest fees of 5% in addition to the original invoiced amount as well as storage fees of $25 per day to a maximum of 30 days. Items held on the premises of Northrow Limited or its secondary storage locations are done so at the sole risk of the Winning Bidder and may not hold Northrow Limited liable for damages or loss resulting from an Item’s storage. If complete payment is not made within 30 days, then Northrow Limited reserves the right to void the purchase and retain the 10% deposit charge as liquidated damages. Northrow Limited reserves the right to suspend or remove the account associated with the Winning Bidder and/or their representatives due to a failure to complete payment. Items must be collected by the Winning Bidder, their representatives, or organised shipment method within seven business days.

12.       Northrow Limited, its agents or employees, will not be held liable for the loss or damage of any Item purchased through Northrow Limited, including negligence, while the Item(s) remain in the possession of Northrow Limited.

13.       Winning Bidders may request a shipping and handling quote from Northrow Limited and they will be provided with details from a third-party shipping company. Northrow Limited outsources the responsibility of packaging Items for shipment and as such cannot be liable for loss or damage resulting from inadequate packaging. Northrow Limited strongly suggests the Purchaser of an Item to insure any and all shipments. The Purchaser agrees not to hold Northrow Limited liable for any and all loss and damages that may have occurred in transit in any way, including inadequate packaging or securing.

14.       Without limitation, the Purchaser accepts that any Item purchased through Northrow Limited may be subject to provisions of the Cultural Property Export and Import Act (Canada).

15.       Northrow Limited reserves the right to refuse admission, enrolment and/or participation in any of their events and/or auctions. Northrow Limited reserves the right to refuse admission to their premises to any individual or group of individuals.

16.       These Terms and Conditions of Sale and all agreements related to the business of Northrow Limited shall be construed under the laws of Ontario and the parties hereby attorn to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Dufferin Country Courts. All dispute resolutions are to occur within the Dufferin County Court System.

17.       Northrow Limited accepts payment by cash, certified cheque, wire transfer, Electronic Money Transfer (EMT), VISA, Mastercard and/or American Express (AMEX) for the settlement of invoices. Credit card purchases are limited to a maximum of $10,000 CAD. Items purchased with a certified cheque will not be released by Northrow Limited until the clearance of the cheque has been confirmed by Northrow Limited’s bank. Payments arranged by wire transfer may be subject to administrative charges related to the transfer and banking processes. Northrow Limited reserves the right to require government issued photo identification for all transactions. Northrow Limited reserves the right to request certain methods of payment on a case by case basis.

18.       This agreement may be executed and delivered in a number of counterparts, each of which when executed and delivered is an original but all of which taken together constitute, as applicable, one and the same instrument.

19.       These Terms & Conditions of Sale are subject to change without notice and are effective immediately following their publication.

9478 Wellington Road 124
Erin, Ontario N0B 1T0

By Appointment After Auctions Conclusion

Important Indigenous Fine Art Auction

Stone Cut Prints From Dorset, Baker Lake & Holman Co-Op's

Online September 6th 6:00 pm

All bidding at Northrow.ca