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ORIGINAL SINGLE BEADED MOCCASINS – VERY NICE DISPLAY PIECES OR GOOD SOURCES FOR OLD BEADS:  If you have been collecting old Native American beadwork for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed a phenomenon that is prevalent, if not unique, to that genre of collecting – that of the “single moccasin”.  Contrary to the occasional feeble attempts at humor, 19TH Century Native Peoples were no more inclined to be one-legged than any other ethnic group, but their footwear does show up frequently on the market as a single specimen, the mate forever separated and presumably held in a separate collection.  

Despite the impossible odds against it happening, I know of two incidents where pairs of moccasins that were separated at some unknown point in the past have been reunited in recent years.  One pair of Lakota child’s mocs which now reside in my wife’s collection were found as singles within weeks of each other at two antique shops several hundred miles apart.  Go figure.   

I have been told by several older dealers through the years that they suspected the moccasin pairs were separated either at the time they were collected under circumstances where the baggage of a village was looted and a pair was divided at the time, or more recently, a pair was split up by descendants arguing over the dissolution of an early collector’s estate.  While such a division makes little sense, there’s a lot of things people do that doesn’t make sense, so I guess splitting up a pair of mocs scores pretty far down the scale of importance. 

Acquired from an old collection, I have these single moccasins to offer.  Each is listed below with a basic description and accompanying photographs. 


NO. 1  FULLY BEADED MOCCASIN:  Measures 10.5” long, 5” wide.  Very pretty periwinkle blue background.  Thread and sinew sewn beadwork.  Beadwork is in excellent condition with no missing beads.  The pliable upper is made of native brain tanned leather with a complete rawhide sole.  (0355)  $250


NO. 2  HIGH TOPPED BEADED MOCCASIN:    Measures 10.5” long, 5” wide.  The thread sewn beadwork is in excellent condition with no missing beads.  The pliable upper and soft sole is made of the same very heavy native brain tanned leather which may well be moose hide.  The moccasin is a high topped style, high enough to have tied above the ankle and perhaps made for winter wear.  (0358)  $250



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