Pre-Civil War Omaha Indian Ceremonial trade silver beaver hat dates from the 1850's. Sometimes called a "wedding hat", this type of Indian man's head-wear commonly displayed intricately pierced and rocker engraved silver (tested sterling) crowns, brooches and sometimes unique trade silver emblems. This rare example features a 1 3/4" tall pierced, embossed and engraved full-circumference silver crown as well as a 2 1/2" attached circular pierced heart trade brooch. Also in silver (tested sterling). A smaller 1 1/4" brooch adorns the red and white ostrich plumes which are gathered within a tightly wrapped red trade cloth holder attached to the hat by native tanned deer hide. Whatever lining might have once been apart of the hat has long since vanished. And the beaver fur is 90% intact with some edge wear and rim edge binding coming un-stitched in a few inches although 75% remains perfectly attached. Overall dusty condition with the feathers showing much wear and fading, and some damage and staining. Having said this, the overall impact of the hat is stunning. I have seen these occasionally in museums and of course in early drawings and engravings from the 1830's to 1850's. This is a rare item indeed. Hat height 6 1/2". With feathers height is over 12". Brim width 9 1/2" x 12". Size 6 3/4.
Item ID: OMWH-1
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