The form of this knife sheaf, with an upper panel and tin-cone pendants, points to a northern Plains origin, possibly Plains Ojibway. The rounded form of the horse and scrolling fronds indicate a Woodlands design influence, which is often present in late nineteenth-century beadwork from this area.
The horse and fronds are in dark and pale blue glass beads on a pink/mauve ground. Green, red, black and yellow beads form the borders to the main designs; and red, black and white quills are bound round the tassels; the back is plain. European glass beads had all but replaced the local shell beads in most areas of North America by the mid nineteenth century.
Steven Hooper, 1997
Entry taken from Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, Vol. 2: Pacific, African and Native North American Art, edited by Steven Hooper (Yale University Press, 1997) p. 290.
Formerly in the collection of Josef Mueller, Solothurn, Switzerland.
Purchased by the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia from Christie's, London in 1979 on the advice of Robert Sainsbury out of funds provided by the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Trust.
Not on display
Title/Description: Knife sheath
Object Type: Implement
Measurements: l. 229 x w. 125 x d. 33 mm
Accession Number: 703
Historic Period: Late 19th century
Cultural Group: Plains Ojibway
Credit Line: Purchased with support from the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Trust, 1979