Sioux pictorial beaded shirt sells for $75,000 at Heritage Auctions

A brilliantly detailed Sioux boy's pictorial beaded and fringed hide shirt has sold as the lead lot at Heritage Auctions' November 15 American Indian & Pre-Columbian Art Signature Auction in Dallas.

Sioux beaded shirt
Sioux beaded shirts are highly sought after, and this example is made extremely desirable due to its ties to General Custer and the Battle of Little Big Horn

The shirt, a fantastic example created circa 1875, sold for $75,000. Its provenance boosted its final sale price, having been captured following the Battle of Little Big Horn.

An inscription on the front interior reads: "Captured on June 25, 1876 at the Battle with Indians on the Little Big Horn River, M.T Commanded by General G A Custer, U. S A. by Louis Rott 1st Sgt, Co. K 7th Cav."

The piece was consigned from the collection of Valentine Pasvolsky, an astonishing selection that had been largely ignored by Pasvolsky's grandchildren until it was brought to Heritage Auctions.

"It's likely the hobby won't see another collection like this for a decade or more," Delia Sullivan, senior specialist of American Indian art at Heritage, said. "There are some really wonderfully important things in this collection. A find like this only happens once or twice in a career."


The necklace was created in 1835 by native peoples who inhabited the grasslands flanking the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers



Also selling was a grizzly bear claw necklace from 1835, which made $20,000. Composed of 22 claws strung on hide and wrapped in woven cotton cloth with glass beads, the necklace originates from the Prairie Indians.

Eartern woodlands belt cup
The belt cup is remarkably detailed, and in superb condition for its age



The second highest bids of the sale were seen by an Eastern Woodlands carved wood belt cup, circa 1760, carved of maple burl in the form of two beavers nibbling a tree branch, a sailing ship and two flintlock guns. It made $37,500.

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