Sioux Scout Jacket, ca. 1900
Appraised Value: $3,000 - $4,000
IMAGE: 1 of 1
Appraisal Video: (3:11)
GUEST: Okay, this jacket belonged to my wife's aunt, Ida Craver, who was a rider with the Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show back at the turn of the 20th century. And this was presented to her by William Cody, and it was made by the lady Indians that were part of the show. Aunt Ida rode with Annie Oakley, and she was married to Bill Craver, whose picture is below, who was also a member of the troupe, and this was presented to her by him. She claimed that it was because he liked her so much, and she was a good-looking woman.
APPRAISER: Cody had a whole troupe. He started in the 1870s, ended up in New York as a stage act, and then in the 1890s went back on the road as a Wild West show. And he did have Sioux Indian that traveled with him, including Sitting Bull, at one point. So he had a whole crowd and they made things. And it is a Sioux scout jacket and it's something that's real common from the 1880s and '90s up to about the turn of the century. It's got little American flags across the chest and then a Sioux star, which is a morning star. It's a woman's size. If you turn it around-- and this is very nice-- it's got buffalo on it, and very beautifully done buffalo, fringe down the back. It's a very typical scout jacket that the Sioux would have made. This is interesting because it has two different markets. One is the American Indian market, and it has a value as strictly an American Indian piece. But the last ten years, things from Wild West shows and from the American West have become very popular. Now, over the last three or four years, what's become very, very collectible are things related to women in Wild West shows.
APPRAISER: And the prices continue to go up all the time. With the photographs and the documentation you have, it ties all that together. If you didn't have it, it's just a coat. It's a very nice coat and it looks great, but now it's got the Western market, which is a whole different group of buyers. It's worth a little money.
GUEST: Well, we took it out of the drawer and hung it up because we were afraid we were ruining it by leaving it folded up.
APPRAISER: Well, it's in pretty good shape. I've seen lots worse. Uh... $3,000 to $4,000.
GUEST: Oh. I probably ought to insure it.
APPRAISER: And keep the documentation with the piece.
APPRAISER: Keep it out of the sunlight.
GUEST: Oh, yes.
APPRAISER: It'd be better if you stuffed it with some unbleached muslin or something.
GUEST: Okay. Just hanging it isn't good enough?
APPRAISER: If it's a padded coat hanger, yes. If the coat hanger's got muslin padding on it so it kind of pulls it
out a little bit, yeah.
GUEST: I anticipate it will stay in the family, because it's been in the family for quite a while already.
APPRAISER: That's great.
GUEST: We let the kids take it to school for show-and-tell. Now I'm going, "Oh! We shouldn't have done that."
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