Native American Kiowa cradleboard up 170% on estimate

A rare cradleboard from the Native American Kiowa people has seen outstanding bids as part of Allard Auctions' August 9-10 auction in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Native American Kiowa Cradleboard
The $108,000 cradleboard is wonderfully decorated and has been well preserved in a single collection

The cradleboard sold for $108,000, making an impressive 170% increase on its $20,000-40,000 estimate.

This exceptional result is due in part to its strong provenance. It was consigned to the auction by a man in his late 90s, who remembers playing with the piece as a toy in the 1920s.

The early 1900s cradleboard was later given to him by his grandmother and has been wonderfully preserved in his collection for the best part of 70 years.

The Kiowa people originate from the Great Plains, migrating from Montana into the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in the 17th to 18th century, before moving on to the Southern Plains in the early 19th century.

Today, the Kiowa live on a reservation in Oklahoma.

Cradleboards are traditionally used to carry babies, and are seen in many of the tribes of North America. Usually woven from a flexible wood, such as willow, they are normally decorated with beaded accents.

Sioux beaded cradleboards
Native American children would spend a great deal of time in the cradleboards, either while travelling, as protection or as a bed. This beaded example made $7,800.

A beaded Sioux cradleboard also fared well in the sale, bringing $7,800 and a 30% increase on its $6,000 high estimate. The piece was made circa 1900 and is in very good condition.

Paul Fraser Collectibles is currently selling an authentic strand of hair from Geronimo, the great Apache leader.

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