Kiowa Beaded Cradle, ca. 1910
Appraised Value: $25,000 - $35,000 (2012)
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (2:31)
Antiques Appraiser and Consultant
APPRAISER: It's a Kiowa lattice cradle, and it belonged to my uncle. It was made by my great grandmother, Guhala, before 1911. She was born in 1911. Guhala made all kinds of things-- dresses, leggings, moccasins, belts, purses, anything and everything. And we have a picture of her over here. Oh, yeah, that's her.
APPRAISER: And her other name is?
GUEST: Mesquite Beans. Guhala means "Mesquite Beans."
APPRAISER: Mesquite beans.
GUEST: And mesquite beans are beautiful, and that's how she got her name.
APPRAISER: So this has gone down through the family.
GUEST: I use it for everybody that's a baby in the family.
APPRAISER: As you know, there's a fantastic history of Kiowa cradles and Kiowa beadwork. And the tradition in this sort of style really dates back from about 1870 and goes through the point at which this one was made. And you said it was made in about 1911.
GUEST: 1910. She probably started it in 1910.
APPRAISER: These leaf motifs up and down the sides, that's a reflection to the Eastern tribes that the Kiowa came from. And so they've maintained these old designs. Often on a Kiowa cradle, the right side and the left side will have different designs. But this one has the same designs on both sides, so it makes it a little bit more special. It's gone through some transformations. You have the newer slats on here. Also, you said that your family had relined it and done some other work too, haven't they?
GUEST: I've taken care of it. They took out the rawhide that was for the backing and for this right up here, and they used it for moccasin soles. Some of the string got old and it started breaking, so I had to redo the string.
APPRAISER: Do you have any idea of the value?
GUEST: A collector from South Dakota once offered my mother $100,000 for it.
GUEST: But I don't know.
APPRAISER: I think in today's market, this cradle at auction or at a good gallery would be worth $25,000 to $35,000.
APPRAISER: There have been some Kiowa cradles that have gone in the six figures, and what has made the difference between this cradle and some of those cradles is the cradles are absolutely pristine and unchanged. But it's an extraordinary cradle, it's incredibly dramatic, and the beadwork is beautiful. And your great-grandmother is just an amazing woman to do this, and you should be really proud.
GUEST: I am.
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