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Greenlandic Soapstone Ashtray with Seal Figure

Greenlandic Soapstone Ashtray with Seal Figure

Regular price $450.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $450.00 USD
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Hand-carved solid soapstone ashtray, from Greenland in the mid-20th Century. This is an extremely rare and very special example of Indigenous Art.

5.5" W x 5.5" D x 2" H

Inuit-owned co-operatives began in many Arctic communities during the 1950s and 1960s. The traditional carving material of ivory was not plentiful enough to keep up with demand, and as stone was more plentiful than ivory soapstone carving replaced ivory carving as the most desirable medium. This resulted in an increase in the average size of carvings – a change encouraged by collectors. Pieces created during the Contemporary Period were increasingly treated as objects of sculpture, rather than curiosities. This allowed artists to express themselves with more freedom and deal with subjects inspired by their inner spiritual life. Inuit artists were fully aware that they were producing works for an outside market. They also learned that this market brought its own demands of subject, composition and workmanship.

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