Pitseolak Ashoona - Snow Buntings Return To Caribou Country 10/50
Lot Number:
Start Time:7/20/2023 7:00:00 PM
End Time:9/6/2023 11:17:00 PM
Bid Count:0
Winning Bidder:
Starting Bid:$300.00
Bid Increment:$25.00
Estimate Range:$600.00 - $800.00
Current Bid:
Next Bid:
Bidding complete

Stonecut  10/50 - Dorset 1983

Titled, Numbered, Dated & Signed Across Lower Border

Sheet - 25 ins x 17 ins (63.5 cm x 43.18 cm)


Paper: Natural 


Private Collection

Pitseolak Ashoona ᐱᑦᓯᐅᓛᖅ ᐊᓲᓇ

(1904 – 1983    Indigenous / CAD) C.M., R.C.A.

Born on Nottingham Island in the Northwest Territories, now Nunavut. Her name means "sea pigeon" in Inuktitut. In 1922 (or 1923), Pitseolak married Ashoona, a hunter, in the Foxe Peninsula of Baffin Island. They had 17 children, though only six (Namoonie, Qaqaq, Kumwartok, Kiugak, Napachie, and Ottochie) lived with Pitseolak until adulthood. Some died in childhood, and others were adopted out according to custom, and raised by other Inuit families.

Years of hardship followed the death of Ashoona, which occurred sometime in the early to mid 1940s. He died in the early years of the Second World War, a time of decline in the market for furs. Over time the loss of Ashoona led Pitseolak to become an artist. Making prints eased her loneliness and she described her art as what made her "the happiest since he died". Pitseolak's artwork later enabled her to support her family. Though her art arose from painful circumstances, it expressed mostly positive memories and experiences. As Christine Lalonde notes in Pitseolak Ashoona: Life & Work: "scenes of deprivation and suffering almost never appear in her drawings, though certain images convey sadness and longing" about the passing of Ashoona.

Pitseolak is recognized as one of the first Inuit artists to create autobiographical works. Her art contained images of traditional Inuit life and contributed to the establishment of a modern Inuit art form, one that transmitted traditional knowledge and values while at the same time achieving worldwide popular and commercial success. She was also one of the first artists in the 1960s to make drawings for the print studio in Cape Dorset. She was a self-taught artist.

Initially Pitseolak worked sewing and embroidering goods for sale as part of the arts and crafts program. It was initiated by the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources as a way for Inuit to earn money. It was introduced by James Archibald Houston and Alma Houston at Cape Dorset in 1956. Upon seeing the work of her cousin Kiakshuk (1886–1966), who was part of the Cape Dorset graphic studio, Pitseolak decided to take up drawing. Her early work was well received and she soon became one of the most popular artists among those creating images for the Cape Dorset print collection.

First working with graphite pencil, Pitseolak would later move on to coloured pencil and felt-tip pens.

In the last two decades of her life, from 1960 onwards, she produced a collection of more than 7,000 images, 233 of which were created as prints in her Cape Dorset Collection. She said these illustrated life pre-contact, "the things we did long ago before there were many white men."

Her artwork focuses on both daily life and legends, or Taleelayu. Pitseolak was inspired by other artists in her community who started before her, saying: "I don't know who did the first print, but Kiakshuk, Niviaksiak, Oshawetok and Tudlik were all drawing at the beginning. I liked the first prints ... because they were truly Eskimo." Pitseolak was accepted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1974 and was awarded the Order of Canada in 1977 for her work. Through the following decade and until her death in 1983, Pitseolak continued to draw, and to work with new media. An arts grant awarded to her in 1975 sparked experimentation in a new medium – acrylic paint on canvas. Initially, she approached painting like drawing, outlining in pencil and then filling in with colour. As she gradually adapted to the nuances of the medium, she began laying down bold colours side by side to achieve her vivid affect.

In 1973 she narrated her story in the National Film Board's animated documentary Pictures out of My Life, directed by Bozenna Heczko and based on interviews from Eber's book. Pitseolak was also featured on a stamp, issued on March 8, 1993 and designed by Heather J. Cooper, in commemoration of International Woman's Day.

Pitseolak's work has been featured in exhibitions at Canadian museums, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Canadian museum of civilizations, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. In 1975 she had a retrospective at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C., organized by the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

In 2020, Ashoona was one of eight finalist for the person to be depicted on $5 polymer bills in Canada.


Source: Wikipedia

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  10/50 - Dorset 1983

Titled, Numbered, Dated & Signed Across Lower Border

Sheet - 25 ins x 17 ins (63.5 cm x 43.18 cm)


Paper: Natural 


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