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NORTHERN PLAINS BEADED KNIFE SHEATH – A LARGE, VERY ATTRACTIVE SHEATH WITH GREAT EYE APPEAL:  This is a beautifully executed Northern Plains beaded knife sheath made for a large butcher or skinning knife, measuring just over 11” long and 3 ¼” wide at the top opening.  In spite of the obvious signs of age and use, this sheath has survived in excellent condition and displays very well.   

The sheath is constructed of rawhide, with the beadwork applied to brain tanned hide that covers the sheath.  The strikingly attractive design incorporates dark blue, red-white heart and greasy yellow seed beads.  The beadwork is applied in tight, well executed lanes running the length of the sheath, and the transition into the curve at the bottom of the sheath was very well done so as not to disrupt the design, evidence that the woman who made this sheath was skilled and experienced.   

The side seam of the sheath was sewn with sinew, and the buckskin covering was attached with sinew as well.  The beadwork was applied with a brown cotton thread, consistent with much of the beadwork done in the last quarter of the 19Th Century and first decade of the 20Th Century.  The beadwork is tight and shows little wear or damage, save for a small spot on the lower end of the folded edge where four rows of beads in one lane has been worn away – evidence that this sheath was worn and used, and not fabricated for the tourist trade. 

The beads and hide show aging and patina consistent with old beadwork and the brain tanned thong for attaching the sheath to a belt shows the same level of wear and use, and from all appearances is original to the period of use of the sheath.   

With such a striking design and substantial size, this Beaded Knife Sheath will be a dramatic addition to your collection, and would a perfect piece to display on a Model 1876-79 Prairie Belt, one of the 1880’s Mills Cartridge Belts, or on a civilian buffalo hunter’s cartridge belt.  SOLD


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