On May 28th, First Arts held its inaugural live sale of Inuit and First Nations Art. Offering a select group of 75 works from important Canadian and American collections, the auction realized a total of over $1.2 million, and sold an astonishing 95% of lots offered.
The sale included historical, classic and modern sculptures, graphics and textiles. The sale established new record prices for several artists, with 36% of lots selling above the high estimate.
The highlight of the sale was the exceptional Migration Boat by Joe Talirunili, which realized $408,000, setting a new world record price for a work of Inuit art. Another strong performer was Fisherwoman by Osuitok Ipeelee, which realized a price well over its estimate, reaching $90,000 against an estimate of $30,000 - $45,000.
"We couldn’t be happier with the results of our first live auction", said Ingo Hessel, First Arts partner and Inuit Art Specialist. "The success of the sale shows that there is a strong and growing interest in top quality Indigenous art. First Arts’ careful selection and thoughtful curation of diverse and rare works has resulted in a strong public response and we look forward to expanding our ambitious program of auction and retail sales.”