Posted 7 years ago
This is an old basket, made by a member of the Penobscot Native American tribe around the years 1870-1890. This one is made with splints from the Brown Ash tree and also Sweet Grass that is braided together and then used as decoration around the top and center of the basket. This basket is about 6 and a half inches in diameter and one and a half inches in height. The color is faded on the top due to exposure from sunlight, but the bottom shows what the color would have been all over.
This shape is very hard to make, due to the severe bend of the splints. They very often would break under the strain during the shaping or even after a basket was finished. The maker, through much trial and error while learning from their teacher, would have to be able to get a feel for how the wood reacted in their hands. And even after years of learning and becoming a basket maker in their own right, this shape was still very hard to make. Because of this, the maker usually charged more money for this shape.
There are not many baskets made in the Sea Urchin shape floating out there anymore and it has gotten harder and harder to find them. The Urchin baskets with no damage are already in people's private collections and they know how difficult it is to find them now, so they hold on tight to their own. Usually they come back on the market only when there is an estate sale or a family places their deceased loved one's collection into a auction for sale.
Anyhow, I hope you enjoy the pics of this beautiful Sea Urchin Basket. Thanks for stopping by :)