This small Apache doll cradleboard comes with a doll laced inside. The "salt and pepper" beadwork at the outer sides of the leather wrapping and on the front edge of the cradleboard's bonnet is done with "salt and pepper" beads - a term used for random multi-color beadwork. This style was used in the 1880-1890's. This is made with brain tanned buckskin leather, bent willow branches, split cottonwood twig backing and buckskin lacing. The doll is wrapped with a fine twill weave wool blanket and is made of the same material. It has embroidered eyes and eyebrows and it's "hair" appears to be from a black wool woven material. It's mouth and nose, as well as it's "cherry" cheeks are painted on with a rose color tint. It has a back buckskin leather strap for hanging it. Not shown is a bentwood footboard which is notched on the bottom.
This is only 7" long, the bonnet/hood is 3" high, it is 2.5" at widest (at top end of the bonnet). From footboard to top end of bonnet is 5" .. the bent willow branches at top and bottom account for the other 2" in length.
This is the smallest and one of the earliest Apache doll cradleboards I have seen. It has some damage to the back of the bonnet and there are some split twigs missing and lacing is damaged on a small area of the bonnet hood. Some of the beadwork is missing on the front and back of the bonnet. - Yet .... I have not seen another Apache doll cradleboard of this vintage with less damage. It has been said by a well known Native American historical material consultant "Very few basket doll’s cradles have survived because they were well used by little girls who were not always gentle with their toys. "