Posted 3 years ago
This carving is 4.5" long x 3.5" high x 2.5" wide. I think it is soapstone as it is pretty beat up. It was $.99 at a local thrift shop and too cool to leave there, nonetheless. It seems a bit heavy for soapstone, so it may be something else. The tag on the bottom says "Canada eskimo art esquimou", so guessing it was carved by a Canadian Inuit artist. The inscription on the bottom is apparently the Disk Number and initials or name of the artist in Inuit. The Disk Number looks like 43093, to me, but nothing comes up for that number here with either a "W" or "E" prefix:
Probably meant to be a paperweight or gewgaw.
Update: Richard Murdoch of Art Nunavik was able to identify this artist:
"The carver is Simon Makimak of Akulivik (died in 2013). The signature underneath shows "Kala" Makimak, a short way of writing Caroline. Caroline was his wife. The style is definitely by Simon, so his wife must have brought it in to the coop to sell it. The stone looks like Akulivik stone so it is possible it was brought in to the coop the late 70's. The top written part under the base that is partially covered by the igloo tag is most likely a "c" for the copyright symbol and a 7. Most likely there is another number under the tag, 77, 78 or 79. This would give the year it was made."
Richard also included a biography for Simon:
SIMON (QILUQI) MAKIMAK ALSO MUKIMUK
Born: May , 1939
Died: June 2013 Male E9-1317
Resides: Akulivik (Previously: Puvirnituq, Inukjuak)
Married: Caroline (Samsack?)
(Photo of Simon doing some teaching)
Simon Makimak explaining the use of the tarquti* at his birthplace, Cape Smith Island, summer 2010.
* Tool for maintaining flame on stone lamp.
Photo : Pierre M. Desrosiers,Avataq
At a young age, he and his brother would perform tap dancing at home or in festivals with their mom playing the accordion. Unfortunately she died of illness while he was still a young boy. He retained his good nature despite the remainder of his childhood in Povungnituk proving to be difficult. His cousin is the well-known artist Mattiusi Iyaituk who is named after Simon’s uncle. A talented artist himself, he could push the limits of soapstone with thin forms and delicate shapes. He has a fluid, elegant style and he could carve any subject well.
1967 - Eskimo Art in Northern Quebec presented by La Federation des Cooperatives du Nouveau-Quebec at "Man and His World II Montreal, Quebec (catalogue)
November 1976 - January 1977 - Port Harrison/Inoucdjouac Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba (illustrated catalogue)
Dennos Museum Center, Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, Michigan, U.S.A.
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
SCULPTURE OF THE ESKIMO. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1972.
Winnipeg Art Gallery
PORT HARRISON/INOUCDJOUAC . 1977. Winnipeg: The Winnipeg Art Gallery,