Authenticity Of Inuit Art

Our Guarantee

Galerie Inuit Plus is proud to have carefully selected each of the pieces we offer for their high quality, beauty and originality. Galerie Inuit Plus both GUARANTEE that all Inuit art offered to be genuine original, handmade pieces and provide complete documentation to verify the authenticity of each Inuit work we sell. This includes a "Certificate of Authenticity" describing and illustrating in color each piece of Inuit art you purchase. Furthermore, all Inuit sculptures represented by Galerie Inuit Plus are CERTIFIED by the Government of Canada as being original and handmade by a Canadian Inuit (Eskimo) artist.

We are confident that you will enjoy every piece of Inuit art you purchase from Galerie Inuit Plus. To assure your satisfaction, we offer a 21 day money back guarantee. Contact us for return approval and to assist with return shipping instructions. Keep original packaging to return item. Any item damaged during transit must be reported within 24 hours of receipt.

Inuit Sculptures

Inuit sculptures are highly prized as truly Canadian souvenirs and valuable objects of art. This popularity has unfortunately lead to the inevitable proliferation of mass-produced reproductions and imitations. These items are often made of molded composite material such as plastic, ceramic or "cast stone". Their lower prices may tempt the uninformed consumer. Ironically these pieces are often not even products of Canada. These imitations generally have no investment or aesthetic value whatsoever and are not endorsed by either the Canadian government or the Inuit people of Canada. In fact, they tend to lower the image and reduce the sales of genuine Inuit sculpture, thus depriving Inuit artists of valuable income.

To protect the consumer and Inuit carvers, the Canadian government has registered the symbol of the igloo as a trademark. Sculptures bearing this "igloo tag" or sticker are CERTIFIED by the Government of Canada to be handmade by an Inuit.

Inuit carvers often (but not always) incise the bottoms of their works with their signatures in Roman letters or Inuktitut syllabics. A chart of the Inuktitut syllabic writing system will help you to decipher any syllabics you may find. Some sculptures may also have a "disc number" inscribed on the bottom. These numbers, prefixed by an "E" or "W", are another kind of signature.

Inuit Prints

Original, limited edition, Inuit prints are desirable and valuable works of fine art. The printmaking methods employed are entirely a manual "handmade" process and are the work of the Inuit artists and printers at their workshop. These limited edition works of art should not be confused with mechanically or photographically reproduced copies or unlimited, open edition art cards.

Galerie Inuit Plus presently carries the original, limited edition prints both of the annual print collections of the Holman Eskimo Co-operative Ltd. and by internationally recognized, Inuit artist, Germaine Arnaktauyok of Yellowknife, NWT.

Holman Prints are released as an annual collection in a very limited edition. In recent years the number of prints has been limited to between 25 to 50 prints of any one image, with a total of 25 images in the annual collection. After the edition is manually printed, the printing surfaces are defaced to protect the integrity of the art.

Holman ulu chop-markAfter the prints are produced at the Holman printshop, each print is titled, numbered and signed. The inscription 7/35 means that the print in question is the seventh (7) produced and numbered of a maximum regular edition of thirty-five (35) prints produced bearing that image. To further assure control and as a GUARANTEE of Authenticity, each print is affixed with a chop-mark, that is, a printed or embossed symbol representing the "ulu" trade mark of the Holman Eskimo Co-operative Limited through whom the prints are released. Prints prior to 1975 bore the designation "Eskimo Western Arctic".

POV chop-mark
Annual print collections were produced in Povungnituk from 1962 through to 1989 when the Co-operative closed the print shop after the death of several prominent graphic artists. The POV Print Collections normally contained in the order of 25 to 35 different images with prints limited to a fixed number of no more than 50 prints of any one image. After the edition was hand printed, the prints were titled, numbered and signed (often in Inuktitut syllabics). To further assure control and as a GUARANTEE of Authenticity, the final step for each print was the affixing of the trademarked chop-mark or blind embossed stamp of the Povungnituk Sculptors' Society.

Owl chop-markEach of Germaine Arnaktauyok's prints is produced in a fixed number. Recent issues have varied from less than 10 to 100. After an edition is manually printed, the printing surface is defaced to protect the integrity of the art. Germaine personally numbers and signs each of the prints in both Roman letters and Inuktitut syllabics. To further assure control and as a GUARANTEE of Authenticity, each of her recent prints is affixed with a trademarked chop-mark or embossed symbol representing an "owl".

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