Bailey Beaded Cane 

Army Heritage and Education Center (AHEC)

HISTORIC OVERVIEW

Before Treatment: Bailey Beaded Cane)The bead and cloth covered cane was collected or purchased by U.S. Military personnel in the late 19th century. Typical of many Native American artifacts produced during the period, the cane was a blend of traditional materials and design incorporated into European objects for trade. Later, objects were made specifically for sale to tourists.

 

PRE-TREATMENT CONDITION

Before Treatment: Loose and Missing BeadsThe cane was in unstable condition due to the enbrittlement of the cotton thread used to secure the glass beads to the cotton fabric which wrapped the hardwood of the shaft. The top of the cane was believed to have been metal and was detached and missing from its lower end. A red silk ribbon, tied and secured to the upper end of the cane was folded and sharply creased in multiple areas. The cotton thread was broken in numerous areas and large sections of beadwork were loose; approximately seventy-five beads were detached but extant. It is estimated that approximately an equal numbers of beads are missing.

 

TREATMENT

After Treatment: Archival BoxAs per contract, an archival quality box was designed and fabricated to hold the beaded cane for transport from AHEC to the studios of B.R. Howard & Associates. Upon receipt, the cane was photo documented and written documentation completed. All of the glass beads on the cane were surface cleaned using cotton tipped swabs, lightly moistened with distilled water. The red textile ribbon was humidified using blotters and a semi-permeable membrane dampened again with distilled water. Once sufficiently supple, the ribbon was reshaped and placed under weights. Loose and broken threads were knotted where possible, and secured under the adjacent row of beads. Loose and detached beads were then secured with a paraloid resin and where lines of beads were missing, new line were strung using cotton thread and corresponding beads. All appropriate color and design were matched for any reproductions secured to the cane. The cane was documented once again and a written report was prepared. The Bailey Beaded Cane was then transported back to the Army Heritage and Education Center.