Skip Navigation

Knife Sheath

Arts of the Americas

MEDIUM Rawhide, buckskin, porcupine quills, tin, sinew, thread
DATES early 19th century
DIMENSIONS 9 1/2 x 3 1/4 in. (24.1 x 8.3 cm)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS "Indian Scalping knives" number "46"
COLLECTIONS Arts of the Americas
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this three-dimensional work in accordance with a Creative Commons license. Fair use, as understood under the United States Copyright Act, may also apply.

Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact (charges apply).

For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact
CAPTION Eastern, Sioux (Native American). Knife Sheath, early 19th century. Rawhide, buckskin, porcupine quills, tin, sinew, thread, 9 1/2 x 3 1/4 in. (24.1 x 8.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Henry L. Batterman Fund and the Frank Sherman Benson Fund, 50.67.41. Creative Commons-BY
IMAGE overall, 50.67.41_PS1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The sheath is made of a folded piece of rawhide with quill work embroidery along the edge in alternating lengths of red, blue, black and yellow. A piece of soft buckskin is wrapped around the top as a panel or cuff. The added piece is decorated with quillwork; a white field with alternating triangles of blue and black, underlined with orange (formerly red?) arranged in rows. The top and bottom of this cuff are decorated with narrow borders composed of red and white triangles. The entire pattern is outlined with a thin blue line. The narrow borders continue part way around to the back of the sheath, but the quill work pattern does not. Tin cones dangle from the top two corners of the sheath from hide thongs wrapped with red and blue quills and from the bottom of the cuff on thongs wrapped with red quills. These thongs are threaded through the tin cones to form decorative loops that protect their ends. There is a native repair on the reverse side of the sheath.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.
Knife Sheath