Early 20th-Century Comanche Doll Cradle

Value (2008) | $14,000 Retail$16,000 Retail

GUEST:
It's a family heirloom from my grandparents. They had a store near Cache, in Oklahoma, near Medicine Park. And we believe, according to my granny, that it was traded for goods at their store and probably from the 1930s, and we've had it for all this time and don't really know anything about it.

APPRAISER:
It was definitely made after 1900. Any closer than that, it would take some more research. The piece is Comanche. It is from around Cache, Oklahoma. The reason I know that is if you look at the back, there's sort of a vinyl-looking material on the back, which is not leather. It's either the seat cover off a vintage car... or a shower curtain or something like that.

GUEST:
Oh, interesting.

APPRAISER:
And there were two prominent Comanche beadworkers that used that kind of material and made some of these toy cradles.

GUEST:
Oh, interesting.

APPRAISER:
And that's what this is-- it's a toy baby cradle. They had full-size ones for babies. I notice she also did a little enhancement to the front of it. Well, that's Mama's work-- our grandmother. She always had the doll in it, and I'm not sure when she put the nice yarn on there-- I guess to hold it together a little bit. Well, she actually did it exactly as it would have been done with hide.

GUEST:
Oh, excellent.

APPRAISER:
So, it's done right, it just would have been hide. The doll is from the same time period.

GUEST:
Oh, really?

APPRAISER:
It's a composition doll. It's American made, $50, that kind of thing. If this baby cradle came on the market, in a retail situation, exactly as it is...

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
I would say $14,000 to $16,000.

GUEST:
Whoa...!

APPRAISER:
That's not too shabby. Conservatively.

GUEST:
We wouldn't... because of some condition issues, I had no idea it would go up that nicely.

APPRAISER:
Well, it needs to be repaired. The great thing is, is these boards are completely original and may actually be older than the cradle. The cradle needs to be cleaned.

GUEST:
It's very dirty.

APPRAISER:
True. It needs some beads replaced. It obviously needs this replaced. But the thing is, is that you want that done professionally...

GUEST:
Yep.

APPRAISER:
And you want it documented. They need to be able to show the process, so if the cradle is sold on the commercial market, there's documentation of that that the buyer can see. It keeps it clear and keeps it honest. Because it's a very honest piece right now. That could actually decrease the value if somebody thinks it's been over-repaired. It would cost at least several thousand dollars to be repaired, but it could add as much as $10,000 to the value.

GUEST:
Whoa, that's impressive.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
San Antonio, TX
Appraised value (2008)
$14,000 Retail$16,000 Retail
Event
Palm Springs, CA (June 07, 2008)
Period
20th Century
Form
Cradle, Doll
Material
Beads, Composite, Vinyl, Yarn

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