Native American, Folk Art, Tuscarora Iroquois Beaded Whimsy Pin Cushion, Authentic RARE, Museum


Shipping to United States: Free

Antique Native American, Tuscarora Iroquois Beaded Whimsy Pin Cushion Folk Art

Extremely rare and very ornately detailed pin cushion, mint condition considering the age, love and travel this must have experienced. This is covered with original glass beads of all hues; rose, turquoise, blues, auburn and amber, tightly sewn on the cushion as well as outlining the entire boot and hanging from the knots and lowest of the piece.
Approximately 7inches tall and 5 inches wide.

Often, the smaller ones were made by the Native American women in upstate New York as beautifully beaded souvenirs for tourists to purchase when their trains were in the northern stations, many transactions through train windows.

However, many of this size were actually worn by the tribal members as part of their native attire.

The Tuscarora (hemp gatherers or "Shirt-Wearing People) are a Native American tribe and First Nations band government of the Iroquoian-language family.

Silk, twill, and velveteen are all used on the very rate Native American Iroquois beaded pin cushion.

There are decorative beaded loops around all or part of this pincushion, it is extremely ornate. The cloth hanger is made of velvet, for the pincushion was meant to hung. Even the very largest ones have hangers.

The majority of pincushions are stuffed with sawdust. It is said that sewers’ husbands brought home sawdust from their jobs in sawmills. Late 20th century pincushions are usually stuffed with cotton or 100% polyester, but sawdust is still used. Some sewers have polished wooden stuffing sticks to push the stuffing into all the pincushion corners.

The most diagnostic feature of Iroquois pincushions is the beaded designs on the front. Beads often are sewn around the perimeter of the pincushion over a binding. Usually there are one or two parallel beaded lines around the edge of the piece inside of the edging beads. On the simplest pincushions there are no edging beads and the binding is plain. A wide variety of designs cover the front of the pincushions. Sometimes there are so many beads that there is little room to insert pins in it.

Glass boots, ceramic boots, and Iroquois beaded boots are common. Iroquois beadworkers started making boot shaped pincushions in the 1870s or 80s. Many of the larger ones have a pocket in the top whose function is unknown. Perhaps they hung on a dressing room wall as a brush or comb holder. Maybe they held sewing supplies.

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This item will be shipped First Class, US Priority Mail with tracking. Additional insurance and signature confirmation available upon request at time of purchase.

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