Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

doll cradleboard
  • United States
  • doll cradleboard, late 1800s–1980
  • Where object was made: United States
  • wood, buckskin, cloth, leather, paint, metal, beading
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 63 x 25 x 24 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 24 3/4 x 9 13/16 x 9 7/16 in
  • Gift of Ann and Britt Brown, Blackbear Bosin Collection
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2327

The cradleboard has a wooden frame of two wooden pickets that extend above the baby wrapping portion. The pickets are angled slightly away from each other, and are joined with a slat at the top of the baby wrapper, with another at the bottom. The wood is tied together with strips of buckskin and is painted yellow. The tops of the pickets are embellished with metal rivets that outline the picket and form a diamond and a triangle inside along with a small cross. The diamond and triangle are painted red, the two triangles of negative space are painted yellow.

The buckskin baby wrapper portion is decorated with a wide strip of beading. It is lined with red cloth and has buckskin laces. The laces are covered with a leather "U" shaped panel, with metal studs on the edge and a beaded border, mostly white with blocks of red, "V" shapes in light blue and triangles in dark blue. There is buckskin fringe at the bottom of the laces.

The beaded decoration is a medium blue field with a red line up one side and down the other. The repeated designs are the same on either side of the red line. There is a green triangle with a small 2-triangle tail, outlined in black. There is a black "V" with stepped black triangles and feather-like decorations in red, green and yellow, all outlined in black. A red triangle with a 2-triangle "tail" is outlined in black, with a green cross inside that separates the previously described design from its next repeat. Strands of beads are tacked down at three places over the hood of the baby wrapper. There are one and a half strands of white beads and two and a half strands of a pattern consisting of a red bead flanked by two medium blue and one dark blue bead alternating with white tube beads.