Creek Baldric, ca. 1818
Appraised Value: $6,000 - $8,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (2:25)
APPRAISER: You brought me a Chinese sewing basket from the late 1800s, and I don't do Asian stuff. And then I opened it up. Tell me what you know about this.
GUEST: My ancestor was a Baptist preacher in Perry, Georgia, for over 50 years. He loved working with the Indian missions, and from time to time, the Indians would send him gifts and this was one of the gifts that they sent him. And when I saw it, I asked my mother to let me play dress-up, and fortunately she told me I couldn't play dress-up with it. It's always been in the basket, and I don't know anything else about it except that it might be from the Oklahoma area. I just don't know for sure.
APPRAISER: It came from here. This area was the Muscogee (Creek) nation. It was a very powerful confederacy of tribes that dominated the southeast until about 1828 to 1832, and then President Jackson moved them all to Oklahoma over the "Trail of Tears." I suspect that's why she told you it was from Oklahoma. This was probably made here by Creek craftspeople.
APPRAISER: 1810, 1820. You'll see portraits of Creek chiefs that are wearing these. They're actually called baldrics, and it's a sash that was worn across the chest Scottish-style and tied at the waist. And what you can't see in this basket is there's about four feet of braided fringe in the bottom of it that hangs down. These are extremely rare. I know of maybe four or five others. Most of them are in Scotland, where a lot of Creek tribesmen sent their kids for education in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
GUEST: I've read about that.
APPRAISER: There are some condition problems. It could be fixed. As it is, I'll be conservative and say $6,000 to $8,000.
APPRAISER: Get it fixed and it's a new game. Might cost $1,000, you know, give or take some. Have it cleaned, stabilize the beads... 15 to 20.
GUEST: I'm thrilled. I'm so thrilled and you've solved my mystery, too. Thank you so much, Bruce.
APPRAISER: It's a wonderful thing.
GUEST: We're very proud of it.
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