How to Sell Inuit Soapstone Carvings

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Inuit soapstone carvings are created by Alaskan and Canadian Native American artists. Carvings typically depict animals or Inuit deities. Old Inuit pieces are prized by collectors, and even contemporary pieces that have little historical value can be sold for their artistic beauty. While Inuit carvings are generally referred to as soapstone carvings, they may be made from other materials as well. Additional types of stone used for carvings include serpentine, dolomite, quartz and argillite.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Computer
  • Organize your collection of soapstone carvings and create a list of the different items you've got. If you inherited the carvings or purchased them at an estate sale, they might have a higher retail value than you think. The only way you'll know for sure is by getting an appraisal.

  • Find an appraiser on the American Society of Appraisers website (Appraisers.org). (If you know the carvings aren't valuable, skip this step.) Set up an appointment with the appraiser you decide on. You can also search online for Inuit carvings similar in style to yours to get an idea of the average selling price of that size and style of carving.

  • Discuss the estimated value of your soapstone carvings with the appraiser at the end of the appointment. Carvings made by celebrate Inuit artists can be auctioned off or sold to galleries that collect Inuit art, such as Houston North Gallery in Nova Scotia, Canada. You can also choose to gift your soapstone carvings to a museum for a tax write-off.

  • Approach galleries and antique dealers recommended by your appraiser. Inform them of the types of carvings you're selling and provide any follow-up information they request, such as photographs or detailed information from the appraisal.

  • Contact companies selling Native crafts or Inuit carvings (e.g., EskimoArt.com, a website featuring weekly art auctions). Ask if the companies would be interested in selling your carvings on commission.

  • List your carvings for sale on auction websites like eBay.com or artisan websites such as Etsy.com. Crafts sold on these Web pages are unlikely to command a high resale price unless they're made by a master craftsman.

References

  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/PhotoObjects.net/Getty Images
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