Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Vintage Native American Beadwork

A few months back I purchased a box lot of items to acquire of a couple of pincushions that were in it. One of them I will keep (sorry, I forgot to take a photo of it but I'll share it at a later date) and one of them I am a bit iffy as to whether or not it stays or goes. It's the pincushion shown in this post.

I like having a varied selection of antique and vintage pincushions, but I'm trying not to collect them unless I really, really like them.

The dealer stated this was made from pinecone seeds. Which are the pinecone seeds: the reddish brown ones or the black ones... or both? I'm not really sure, so I am in the midst of trying to learn more about it.

It's completely covered with the seeds. Can you imagine the time involved? And this is only a small item compared to the much larger, more elaborate pieces found in Native American bead work!

In the box lot was a couple of vintage dolls and a few vintage hand-woven miniature rugs:

a multi-strand, white (though a bit dirty), glass seed bead necklace with an interesting silver beehive barrel clasp:

..and a couple of zuni dolls. One of the zuni dolls is a necklace that isn't very old, but could be vintage:

However, I do think this zuni doll is an old one:

It's a little over 2" tall and has an old leather cord still attached to it. It is made from teeny tiny glass seed beads. From what I've read, they were often beaded over a rabbit's foot. I think that's most likely how this one was made because I can see a bit of fur and some tiny bones sticking out the feet of this doll.

My mom would have loved these items. She was told we have some Native American ancestors a few generations back. She was very interested in anything pertaining to Native Americans, their history, their customs, their art, etc. I do think it's interesting, but I can only collect so many different things... or someone in my family will be calling Hoarders or Clean House to come see what's going on, lol!

So, all of these items I mentioned (including the pincushion, I think) will be listed on the vintage pages of my website, probably next Saturday evening.

I'd better get back to work. I'm trying to get down to business on building up inventory for the Lavender Festival... which is only a month away!

Take care and God bless,


  1. These are neat. I've always been amazed at how the Native Americans learned to do so many things from living off the land to creating gorgeous works of art. A very fine people, indeed! You've got some beautiful pieces there.


  2. Look like apple seeds to me.