Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Inuit Art In Old Montreal

Last time I reported about the Native art found in the shops in Old Montreal. I will report on the Inuit art found in this tourist area now. Several touristy stores carried Inuit art but all had a full range of both authentic as well as fakes. I saw three general categories of products. There were the Wolf originals type which is mass produced reproductions clearly made from molds. These were usually stocked on an open shelf and the least expensive. The second category was a higher end reproduction made of white marble and sometimes fake jade. These are harder to determine for its authenticity by tourists since they are marketed as carvings and are stone. But they are mass produced and not one of a kind. You can also tell by their prices which are higher than category one but not nearly as high as the authentic Inuit art. Most shops do have a supply of authentic Inuit carvings with Canadian government Igloo tags. These are generally displayed in locked glass cases. There's no doubt which category the stores consider the most valuable. A few shops even had a nice selection of Inuit art from both Cape Dorset and other Nunavut communities as well as Nunavik. However, their prices were sky high, at least 25 to even 50 percent higher than online galleries specializing in Inuit art.

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