Possibly SHEOKJUK OQUTAQ (1920-1982) m., KIMMIRUT/KINNGAIT (LAKE HARBOUR/CAPE DORSET),
Kayaker, c. mid 1930s to 1940s
ivory, rope, black ink and inlay, 3 x 18.5 x 9.5 in (7.6 x 47 x 24.1 cm)
ESTIMATE: $1,800 — $2,800
PRICE REALIZED: $1,800
Ex Collection of Sir Patrick Ashley Cooper (1887-1961).
Major Cooper was Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company from 1931 to 1952, and a director of the Bank of England from 1932-1955. He was the first HBC Governor to have actually travelled in the Arctic in 265 years.
Sir Patrick Ashley Cooper apparently travelled to the Eastern Arctic as early as 1934, so it is possible that this carving was acquired by him in the 1930s. However our guess is that the kayak was probably made later, perhaps in the mid 1940s. It is not certain if Sheokjuk had begun carving by that time - he would have been old enough, but we don't know if he had the opportunity or the inclination to do so. Stylistically, the work is good enough and similar enough to be by his hand, though we must admit the possibility that the kayak was carved by an older artist whom Sheokjuk later emulated. Another intriguing possibility is that the kayak was perhaps carved by Osuitok Ipeelee, Sheokjuk's younger brother; apparently Osuitok was already carving and trading ivory kayaks and models before 1942!