Traversing Polar Bear, c. 1990 stone, 2 1/4 x 5 3/4 x 2 in (5.7 x 14.6 x 5.1 cm)
ESTIMATE: $500 — $800
PRICE REALIZED: $480
Like Jacob Irkok (see Lot 25 and 29) Andy Mamgark was a bit of an outlier in Arviat because of his realistic style. His very first carving made in 1959, while he was working at the Rankin Inlet nickel mine, was a polar bear. Bears became his favourite subjects, and as he studied bears more and received many special requests, he eventually carved polar bears almost exclusively, in his trademark style that combined realism and lyrical stylization. Mamgark tragically died in a carving accident in 1997.
Mamgark’s bears were much admired by his Arviat colleagues as well as by southern collectors. This relatively small example, perhaps depicting a cub, is more charming than ferocious.