Cherokee Chief Tucquo's Bandolier Bag with 1846 Documentation, ca. 1835
Appraised Value: $100,000
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (3:42)
GUEST: This was brought by my great-grandfather from the Cherokee nation on the Oklahoma border in 1846. And a Cherokee Indian warrior made it for him because he really did appreciate all that my great-grandfather, who was a lieutenant in the army at that point. After he left Oklahoma border, he went to Monterrey, Mexico, with his regiment, and then he brought it and the letter to San Diego on his horse, which is wonderful.
APPRAISER: This is a remarkable object, and it had a long life prior to its trip to Monterrey and San Diego.
GUEST: Yes, it did.
APPRAISER: This bag was made by a woman, a Cherokee woman, for her husband, probably. And it was meant to be worn around the shoulders.
GUEST: I wondered.
APPRAISER: With the pouch hanging at the side. And inside the pouch it would carry flint, fire-making tools, kindling.
GUEST: Oh, in this?
APPRAISER: In the pouch, yes.
GUEST: Oh, okay.
APPRAISER: And, fortunately, we have one object that remains that was inside the pouch-- the little plug of tobacco right next to you there. The designs are floral, and those floral designs are herbal in nature. They would protect the wearer. They might help him in the hunt, help him in warfare.
GUEST: You mean all these say something?
APPRAISER: All of these floral elements do say something very specific, and it's meant to protect the owner. It's a very important bag. In the late 1830s, however, the Cherokee had a terrible tragedy. They were removed from their homeland in Alabama and Georgia and forcefully moved west by the administration of President Andrew Jackson. This is an amazingly beautiful bag. It suffered a bit in its many journeys; the condition is a little bit rough. It can be restored very professionally. The colors in the bag reflect a woman of superior craftsmanship. She just had an amazing eye for color. All of the elements are trade elements; none of these are native or indigenous to Indian people-- the red strap cloth, the glass beads, silk thread. The bag is backed with printed calico, which would have come from England. Equally important, from a historical perspective, is this document. The document is dated 1846. It's signed by your great-grandfather, who was in the 1st Dragoon regiment.
APPRAISER: One of the things that makes this document so very important is it actually mentions the bag. It mentions the owner of the bag and the circumstances of its collection and its history. It's just a remarkable document. It ties everything together. The bag itself probably dates to the 1820s.
GUEST: I bet.
APPRAISER: It would have left the Southeast-- Alabama, Georgia-- maybe around 1835, 1837, and then finally made its way to your grandfather's hands in 1846. I think this bag, in its present condition, if it did not have…
GUEST: The letter yeah…
APPRAISER: …this very important document that tracks its history across the country, would be about $25,000.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: However, the document and the name of the Indian-- Tucquo, a Cherokee-- the bag and the document together, I think would have a value of about $100,000.
GUEST: Oh, that's a lot of money.
APPRAISER: That's a great deal of money. It would be a little expensive, it might cost about $7,500 to be professionally stabilized. Some of the beadwork would have to be replaced. There's a little hole in the cloth, the blue strap cloth.
GUEST: I know, a moth.
APPRAISER: Exactly, but that could be filled in. And I think that would increase the value and increase its beauty. Thank you so much for bringing it.
GUST: Well, thank you for telling me about it.
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