A Fine & Unusual 18th Century Kalash Cradle


Origin: Hindu Kush (North West Pakistan)
Period: Eighteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1770
Height: 25 inches
Length: 41 inches
Width: 15 inches

Harmoniously and simply constructed from an exotic hardwood, with two handsomely carved and pierced arched panels at the head and foot, united by a carved and turned top rail, carved rails and stretchers, and a simple planked base above curved rockers. The adz carved  decoration on this piece is typical for craftsman from this area and period, with striking pierced architectural features, star and flower-head motifs, and simple linear carving on the supports and rails. The cradle is in good condition for its age, there are some old scuffs, marks and scratches, and two or three of the end cut outs have been later replaced, but nothing detrimental to the overall appeal of the piece.

The Kalash are a goat herding and subsistence-farming people from the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan, in the Hindu Kush mountain range. They are considered very unique in their culture and traditions, and currently number around 3,000.

This cradle is a curious and early anthropological relic, one that offers an insight into the daily life of an unusual and distinctive people.