Cherokee Bandolier Bag with Document
Appraised Value: $100,000 (2010)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
We contacted appraiser Ted Trotta for an updated appraisal in today's market.
• Current Appraised Value: $145,000 (Increased)
Appraisal Video: (3:31)
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 the point. After he left the Oklahoma border, he went to Monterey, Mexico, with his regiment, and then he brought it and the letter to San Diego on his horse, which is wonderful.
APPRAISER: This bag was made by 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: that little plug of tobacco. The designs are floral, 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. It's meant to protect the owner. It's a very important bag.
APPRAISER: 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 under the administration of President Andrew Jackson. This is an amazingly beautiful bag. It's suffered a bit in its many journeys. The condition is a little bit rough. It can be restored. The colors in the bag reflect a woman with 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 stroud 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 First 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 that ties everything together. The bag itself probably dates to the 1820s. I think this bag in its present condition, if it did not have 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-- Tuquo, 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. That's a great deal of money.
APPRAISER: It would be a little expensive. It might cost about $7,500 to be professionally stabilized.
GUEST: Oh, I see.
APPRAISER: Some of the beadwork would have to be replaced. There's a little hole in the cloth, the blue stroud cloth.
GUEST: 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.
GUEST: Well, thank you for telling me about it.
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